S-400 is bilateral problem of US, Turkey, not NATO: Turkish envoy

S-400 is bilateral problem of US, Turkey, not NATO: Turkish envoy

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S-400 is bilateral problem of US, Turkey, not NATO: Turkish envoy

Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missiles is an issue concerning the bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, not NATO, Turkey’s envoy to NATO has said.

“The S-400 is not a NATO problem, it is a bilateral problem, the U.S. including of NATO to this [issue] and harming the coherency of the alliance would be a mistake,” Başat Öztürk, Turkey’s permanent representative to NATO, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency at the headquarters of the bloc.

Öztürk said the U.S. is expected to be in cooperation and unity in accordance with the shared values of NATO, and comply with the spirit of alliance.

On the other hand, the U.S. cannot allow Turkey to fly or help produce the F-35 stealth jets if Ankara goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian air defense system, the U.S. envoy to NATO said on June 25.

“There will be a disassociation with the F-35 system, we cannot have the F-35 affected or destabilized by having this Russian system in the [NATO] alliance,” U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters.

“Everything indicates that Russia is going to deliver the system to Turkey and that will have consequences,” she said.

“It’s not over until it’s over, but so far Turkey has not appeared to retract from the sale,” Hutchison added.

NATO defense ministers, who will meet for two days in Brussels on June 26, are not planning to formally raise the issue, but there could be some diplomacy in informal meetings, diplomats said.

Turkey, NATO, US, s400