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Pentagon reverses its position regarding potential S 400 air defense system purchase, expresses “concern” to Turkey

By Ilhan Tanir, Washington DC

Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov yesterday stated that the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked about a possible delivery of the Russian S-400 air defense system to Turkey.

Asked whether the issue of S-400 shipment to Turkey was on the agenda for the summit of Putin-Erdogan in Sochi, Peskov said, “This issue was addressed among some other military-technical cooperation issues, and the consultations on these matters have been positive.”

Turkish side has been also hopeful and positive about the purchase of the air defense system which cannot be integrated with the NATO defense system.

Regarding S-400 purchase, US has been quiet and avoiding from commenting on the issue last time in March of 2017 when asked by Washington Hattı. 

When asked about the reports that Russia is about to sell S400 defense missile system to NATO ally Turkey, Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon said in March, “We’re not going to comment on a Russian / Turkish deal.  Please contact their respective government liaisons.”

Today, however, Pentagon seems to have reversed its position regarding the potential purchase of S-400 air defense system from Russia. US Spokesperson for the Department of Defense, Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, told Washington Hatti in an email: ”The Department of Defense has expressed our concern to Turkish officials about their potential purchase of a non-NATO interoperable system. Turkey is a key NATO Ally and contributor to the Alliance, and we will continue to dialogue on the topic.”

 

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