Washington alerted on Monday of potentially serious consequences for the US-Turkey relation after that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted any potential US sanctions against his country.
In fact, Erdogan challenged on Sunday the United States about making sanctions on Turkey over its interference in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and doing a test of Russian-made S-400 defense systems. He declared during a televised speech in the eastern city of Malatya: Whatever your sanctions are, don’t be late.
State Department Spokesman, Morgan Ortagus, informed Al Arabiya English that the US has been clear on our expectation that the S-400 system should not be operationalized. She also said: We have also been clear on the potential serious consequences for our security relationship if Turkey activates the system.
Turkey affirmed last week the evaluation of the Russian defense systems that it purchased in 2019, claiming that the move didn’t conflict with its NATO engagements. Erdogan said: We are not going to ask America for permission.
Ortagus also reported that the US denounces in the strongest terms the S-400 test missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO Ally and strategic partner of the United States.
Otherwise, Turkey and the US are considering part of the 29-member international military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that was established to create pressure on the Soviet Union’s military abilities at the time of the organization’s founding.
The US government eliminated last July Turkey from the American F-35 fighter jet program because of its purchase of Russia’s S-400 defense system.
Erdogan related on Sunday: We stepped in for the F-35, you threatened us. You said, Send the S-400s back to Russia. We are not a tribal state. We are Turkey. While Ortagus affirmed that the United States has expressed to the Government of Turkey, at the most senior levels, that the acquisition of Russian military systems such as the S-400 is unacceptable.