Saturday, May 21, 2022

US threatens Turkey with sanctions for Russian missile defense system delivery


Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at

Despite threatened sanctions by the United States, Turkey has received further supplies of the Russian missile defense system S-400. Three aircraft with missile parts landed on Sunday at the air base Murted (formerly Akinci) at Ankara, so it was seven, said the Turkish Ministry of Defense on Twitter. Moscow confirmed the information.

The controversial delivery of the S-400 has begun on Friday. The purchase of the system has been causing disputes with the United States for months. Washington fears that Russia will gain data on the capabilities of the new American stealth plane F-35 through the sensitive radar of the weapons system. Turkey is a partner in the construction of the F-35 and should get about 100 jets.

Washington is threatening sanctions and throwing Turkey out of the F-35 program at the end of July. As the news agency “Bloomberg”, citing anonymous sources reported on Saturday night, the Trump administration has agreed on a sanction package. Accordingly, the US government wants to wait until the end of the week with the announcement of the sanctions, in order not to fuel speculation about an American participation in the attempted coup against Erdogan. What concrete measures were decided was not known. On Monday, the failed coup against the Turkish president for the third time.

However, Ankara emphasizes again and again that there is no way back when buying the S-400. Sanctions would severely affect the already battered Turkish economy. Especially since the EU on Monday could decide to impose sanctions against Ankara – albeit for another reason. Among other things, the EU plans to close the negotiations on an aviation agreement because of the Turkish natural gas exploration off Cyprus, which is considered illegal. In addition, EU aid could be cut and lending by the European Investment Bank curtailed. The measures could be decided at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The S-400 is a mobile air defense system that can shoot planes, missiles and other objects from the sky. It fires short, medium and long range missiles. Turkey argues that it needs its own missile defense against threats from the neighboring civil war country Syria, but also from within.

Russian Foreign Minister Leonid Slutsky told the agency Interfax that the S-400 could also be delivered to other countries in the Middle East. These and other modern weapons “will definitely emerge in this region”. Turkey is just the beginning. There are other countries that have stated that they have “similar needs” to Turkey, Sluzki said. “and those needs are of course satisfied.”

Read also: Turkey condemns US pressure over Russian defense systems

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