NATO And US Furious After Turkey Purchases And Deploys Russian Air-Defence Systems Further Alienating The Nation From The West

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NATO And US Furious After Turkey Purchases And Deploys Russian Air-Defence Systems Further Alienating The Nation From The West

Photo: Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile launching system is displayed at the exposition field in Kubinka Patriot Park outside Moscow. Alexander Nemenov / AFP/Getty Images file

NATO and the United States have acted angrily at Turkish deployment of a barrage of Russian made S-400 air defence systems.

NATO, of which Turkey is a member state, and the United States, which is NATO's leading power, are furious that Turkey purchased the defence system from Russia in 2017 given that a key part of the NATO set-up is to protect against Russian geopolitical influence and alleged expansionism.

Turkey and Russia signed a deal over the S-400 systems in 2017 and Turkey has recently received the weapons from Russia, at a cost to Turkey of $2.5 billion. The United States had demanded that Turkey purchase US 'Patriot' air-defence systems instead.

The rift could mean that the United States and other NATO countries impose sanctions on Turkey, including the halting of delivery of US made F-35 fighter jets that are planned to be sent to Turkey, despite Turkey already having paid for them.

The Turkish president Recep Erdogan was in typical inflammatory and defiant mood in response to the concerns of both NATO and the United States, stating:

"The United States does not know who it is dealing with. You told us to send the S-400s back to Russia. But we are not a tribal state, we are Turkey. Whatever the sanctions will be, do not be late, introduce them. Turkey paid money for [the US fifth-generation fighter] F-35, Washington never supplied the warplanes to Ankara. The approach of the US is not binding for us in any way because how can we not test the means that we have? Of course, we are not going to consult with the US on that. Not only for the S-400, but also many other heavy and light weapons."

The strategic alliance of NATO could be undermined if one of its members begins a strong relationship with Russia. However, Turkey has long been suspected of having a one-foot in one-foot out relationship with the defence initiative. In the 1970s, it invaded a fellow NATO member Greece on the island of Cyprus.

Turkey is currently being boycotted by a large number of Arab states due to its behaviour and has ongoing conflicts with nearly all of its neighbours, notably Greece and France over the Mediterranean and Libya, Armenia over the Artsakh conflict, and Syria over their invasion of the country in 2019.

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Thinking Humanity: NATO And US Furious After Turkey Purchases And Deploys Russian Air-Defence Systems Further Alienating The Nation From The West
NATO And US Furious After Turkey Purchases And Deploys Russian Air-Defence Systems Further Alienating The Nation From The West
NATO and the United States have acted angrily at Turkish deployment of a barrage of Russian made S-400 air defence systems. NATO, of which Turkey is
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