WASHINGTON, (BM) – The United States is seriously worried about the situation related to the purchase by Turkey of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to TASS, Senator Robert Menendez demanded that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo guarantee that the purchase of Russian weapons by Ankara would not be counted as funds spent in connection with obligations to increase defense spending within NATO.
“It will be extremely ironic and terribly problematic if Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 allows it to finally fulfill its spending obligations under NATO,” Menendez explained.
The senator asked the State Department to provide an assessment on this issue and contact the leadership of the alliance, as well as contact Member States. Thus, Menendez wants to ensure that the transaction is not taken into account as an expense.
Recall, US President Donald Trump previously criticized the alliance for not making large contributions to the maintenance of collective defense.
On December 12, 2019, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate voted to adopt a package of sanctions against Turkey over Ankara’s operation in northeastern Syria and the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
Recall Russia and Turkey will start joint production of S-400 defense system and transfer of technologies, according head of the Turkish Defense Industry Directorate Ismail Demir statement on December 14, 2019.
Turkey could finalise terms for delivery of a second consignment of S-400 advanced missile defences from Russia by April 2020 when the first batch will be ready to operate.
The news about the Russian-Turkish talks on the purchase of S-400 systems first came in November 2016. The Russian side confirmed that the contract had been signed on September 12, 2017. Concurrently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara had made an advance payment. Turkey is the first NATO member state purchased an air defense weapon of this class from Russia.
The first shipment of a Russian missile defense system has arrived in Turkey on July 12, 2019.
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