NATO protects 30 percent of Turkish airspace, we need S-400s: Turkey’s top diplomat

Wed 11 Jul 2018 11:28 GMT | 15:28 Local Time

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"Western allies should no longer question Turkey’s procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense systems."

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reiterated that the first batch of batteries will be deployed to Turkey by Moscow at the end of 2019. He also stressed that the current NATO anti-ballistic system can only cover 30 percent of Turkish airspace, which is why Turkey needs Russian made batteries, Anadolu Agency reports.

“New batteries will arrive towards the end of next year. There is finally no need to question this anymore,” he told reporters on July 11 as he arrived in Brussels to accompany President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

His comments came ahead of a summit of NATO leaders, who often express concerns about Turkey’s purchase of the Russian anti-missile systems that may “negatively influence the interoperability of the alliance.” The United States, meanwhile, threatens to introduce punitive measures as a response to when the system is delivered to Turkey.

Recalling that not only the U.S., but some other NATO allies are also worried about the deal, the minister said Ankara understands their technical concerns, “as if the S-400 systems will detect the NATO systems as their foe.”

“We are already sensitive about the issue. We have set forth our conditions during the process of purchase,” he said.




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