- Ankara Will Not Allow Questioning Turkey's NATO Status Over S-400s - President's Spokesman
Ankara Will Not Allow Questioning Turkey's NATO Status Over S-400s - President's Spokesman
Turkey will not allow NATO to question its status of an alliance member over the decision to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told the Anadolu news agency in an interview
Earlier in April, US Vice President Mike Pence said that Turkey had a choice either to remain a key NATO partner, or to undermine the alliance by purchasing the S-400, which Washington saw as a threat.
"Besides, we are not an observer [country] there. We are one of the members. We are a country that has a say in all decisions ... Therefore, we will not allow the questioning of Turkey's position in NATO," Kalin said.
The spokesman pointed out that Turkey must have an opportunity to make the choice itself.
"Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in the history of the world, or does it want to risk the security of that partnership?" Kalin stressed.
The spokesman added that the Turkish relations with Russia were not an alternative to development of ties with Europe or the United States, as Ankara wants to conduct a multidimensional foreign policy.
The Russian-Turkish cooperation on S-400 deliveries has been criticized by NATO and the United States, which have cited security concerns and inability of integration between S-400 and NATO's air defense systems. Ankara, in its turn, has said that purchase of military equipment is its sovereign affair and ruled out the possibility of abandoning its plans. The first shipment of S-400 air defense systems is expected to be delivered to Ankara in July.