Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has attended talks with US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Brussels, during which he discussed the disagreement surrounding the purchase of S-400 systems from Russia.
According to the minister, Turkey’s deal with Russia on the S-400 anti-air missile systems does not constitute a threat to NATO, but the Alliance really does have causes for concern.
Canikli explained that the S-400s have extremely powerful radars, which could transmit information regarding NATO’s 5th generation multirole F-35 fighters, or other weapons.
“That’s why many senators have opposed our acquisition of S-400 systems. We explained to them that there will be no risk or threat, and guaranteed this. In no circumstances will the S-400s create any threats to NATO weapons, we asked them to tell the senators. The S-400s will be supplied and adopted into the armament, on this topic there will be no discussion,” said Canikli, as cited by Anadolu.
However, he emphasized that Turkey has fulfilled all of its obligations with respect to the F-35 project, which the US is implementing in many NATO countries, and has paid an advance of more than $800 million.
“The purchase of 100 planes is expected, costing more than $11 billion, and they must not look for pretexts to delay the fulfillment of this agreement. Otherwise a situation of mistrust will arise, not so much in the legal sense as from the Turkish nation,” Canikli observed.
He added that Turkey is expecting the US to fulfill its obligations fairly, despite Washington’s threats not to deliver the fighters.