The dispute between the US and Turkey over Russian military technology continues. President Erdogan announced tests with the S400 anti-aircraft system, which the US government strongly condemns.
Turkey officially confirmed on Friday that it had tested the S400 missile defense system bought by Russia. “It’s true. Tests have been carried out, and more will follow,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. He added: “We are not going to ask the US for permission.” The US government had threatened Turkey with sanctions in the past if the army activated the missile system.
Turkish media close to the government had last week reported a first test kill in the northern province of Sinop on the Black Sea. The Turkish Ministry of Defense did not comment on the reports. Nevertheless, the United States reacted immediately. The US government would “condemn” such a test in the strongest, a spokeswoman for the US State Department said last week.
USA fear that Russia will gain access to sensitive NATO data
The delivery of the first battery with Russian missiles last year already had consequences for Turkey: The USA threw the NATO partner from the production program for the latest generation of American F35 fighter planes.
The US government sees a security risk in the Russian-type missile system, as it is not compatible with NATO’s military systems. She fears that Russia could gain access to sensitive NATO data if the Turkish government sets up and activates the Russian S400 missile defense system on its territory.