US pressures Turkey over independent policy: Lavrov
MOSCOW / ANTALYA – Anadolu Agency
Speaking at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. uses methods of power pressure to make countries fall in line with its policy.
Washington uses pressure not only against “countries who pursue independent policies” but also against “its closest allies,” he said.
“The situation with threats against NATO member Turkey for Ankara’s decision to strengthen its defense capacity by purchasing Russian S-400s is an example, there are many others,” he added.
Washington has balked at Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400, and last week suspended delivery of parts and services for F-35 fighter jets.
Congressmen and the U.S. vice president have threatened to cancel the F-35 sales over the S-400 deal.
U.S. officials have suggested Turkey buy the U.S. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and would expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey has responded that it was the U.S. refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered it a better deal, including technology transfers.
The S-300 - a predecessor to the current system - is used by NATO countries Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia. Their deals with Russia did not provoke criticism from Washington.
Parliament speaker: No diversion
Meanwhile, Turkey’s parliament speaker Mustafa Şentop said that Turkey accepted the deal on the Russia S-400 system to fulfill its urgent defense needs, adding when other NATO countries purchased the earlier S-300 system they did not face criticism.
“Our decision to purchase the S-400 system must never be seen as a diversion from our commitment to NATO,” he said in his opening speech of a NATO event in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on April 12.
“The reaction of NATO members in the face of the Sept. 11  attacks was exemplary behavior in line with alliance law. NATO members considered the attack on the United States as an attack on the whole alliance,” he added.
But in contrast, he said, “Turkey hasn’t received the support and solidarity of the alliance member countries it deserves in the fight against terrorism.”