Turkey can't integrate Russian missiles: NATO
“The principal of sovereignty obviously exists in acquisition of defense equipment, but the same way that nations are sovereign in making their decision, they are also sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision,” said Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, on Oct. 25 during a Washington meeting with a group of reporters hosted by the Defense Writers Group.
Pavel said Russian missiles cannot integrate with the NATO systems.
NATO-ally Turkey is not seeking to antagonize the U.S.-led alliance by purchasing Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles and is in talks with France and Italy to buy similar weapons, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in an on Oct. 9 interview with Reuters.
Ankara’s decision to buy the Russian system has been seen in some Western capitals as a snub to the alliance, given tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and Syria, while the deal raised concern because the weapons cannot be integrated into NATO defenses.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has blamed NATO countries for failing to propose a viable alternative to the long-range Russian missiles, but Stoltenberg said Erdoğan was now talking to Paris and Rome for similar systems, a move the alliance chief welcomed.
It is “fair among allies to have that discussion, to raise all concerns and potential difficulties,” said Pavel.