Turkey is sticking to its demands that the U.S. transfer missile technology and share production for Ankara following its purchase of a Russian air-defense system that has alarmed NATO partners.
So far, “only Russia has responded to Turkey’s needs suitably,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in an emailed response to questions ahead of a virtual meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers starting Thursday. Turkey is thought to have last week carried out its pledge to test the S-400 missiles it bought from Moscow in 2019.
While that fits with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regional projection of Turkish power, it was also likely a calibrated snub to the U.S., which for years has refused to comply with Turkey’s conditions for purchasing its Patriot alternative.
Akar dismissed allies’ criticism of the missile firing, in an implicit confirmation that it had taken place. “Every defense procurement includes tests and system controls,” he said. The S-400s won’t be integrated into NATO’s command-and-control infrastructure, but rather “used as a standalone system similar to the use of Russian-made S-300 weapons that exist within NATO.” (end of excerpt)
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