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12:57 PM, July 12, 2018
NATO Quiet on Turkey’s S-400 Buy
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu at the NATO Summit in Brussels (Image: MFA Turkey)

There have been no official reactions from NATO at the summit in Brussels regarding Turkey’s S-400 missile defense systems purchase from Russia.

The NATO summit held on 11 and 12 July 2018 focussed majorly on the U.S. and European allies signed a declaration stating they are “committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership.”

A mention of Russia came up during the summit when US President Donlad Trump said, “We’re supposed to protect you against Russia and yet you make this deal with Russia,” while responding to to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“Explain that. It can’t be explained,” Trump said of Germany getting energy from Russia. Trump challenged Stoltenberg to explain why Berlin was getting energy from Russia, and asserted that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” over a pipeline project.

Trump however did not mention Turkey buying the missile defense system from Russia.

Turkey expects to receive the first batches of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems before the end of the next year, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the NATO forum in Brussels on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

Justifying its purchase of S-400, the foreign minister said that the current NATO anti-ballistic system can only cover 30 percent of Turkish airspace, which is why Turkey needs Russian made batteries.

Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400s should no longer be questioned, said Cavusoglu.

“Besides the United States, some other NATO member states have also questioned the purchase, but this must end. We can understand the technical part. For example, it is normal for them to ask whether the S-400 recognizes NATO, NATO systems or allies as an enemy. We are also sensitive to this issue,” he said.

“We have already laid down our conditions in this regard while making the purchase,” he added.

“We have completed the S-400 process. That is a done deal,” he said. “But we need more air defense. We can discuss what we can do for further purchases.”

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