Ankara: Defying US pressure, Turkey on July 12 received the first shipment of S-400 air defence missile system equipment from Russia.
The components arrived at the Murted military airfield outside Ankara, its Ministry of National Defense was cited by Russia Times as saying. The United States had warned Turkey of “very real and very negative consequences” for finalising the purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems.
In a statement, the State Department said, “We have said that the S-400defence system, the acquisition of that would have serious consequences for the US and NATO’s defence relationship with Turkey.”
“We’re clearly willing to engage with them and have continued to engage regarding our concerns on this acquisition, but there will be very real and very negative consequences if that happens,” it added.
Turkey has repeatedly rejected US ultimatums for cancelling S-400 shipments and the purchase of American Patriot batteries instead.
In December 2017, Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 air defence systems to Turkey. Since then, the United States and NATO have criticised Turkey’s move, citing security concerns and incompatibility with NATO air defence systems.
Washington had earlier threatened Turkey with sanctions for its planned acquisition of S-400s and repeatedly said it may delay or cancel the sales of F-35 aircraft to Ankara. Turkey is one of the seven states that participate in the F-35 program.
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