S-400 purchase is a concern for other NATO members, not only for the U.S. - Secretary Gen
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg said that Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile defence system was Ankara’s own "national decision” and that NATO’s main concern was the ability of different systems to work together, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.
Stoltenberg also said that the purchase of S-400 is not only a matter of concern for the U.S. administration but also for other members of NATO, Sputnik reported.
Ankara and Moscow signed a $2.5 billion agreement for the sale of the Russian S-400 air defence system to Turkey in December 2017, despite the concerns of Turkey’s NATO allies’, who fear the Russian-made system could damage NATO defence system’s interoperability and potentially open a back door through which Russia could access to NATO military data.
The U.S. Senate in June passed a bill calling on the Trump administration to freeze arms sales to Turkey until an assessment is made of military and diplomatic ties, including the S-400 deal.
U.S. President Donald Trump in August signed a national defence budget act that suspends U.S. sales of weapons, including new generation F-35 fighter jets, to Turkey, as part of ongoing spat between the NATO allies over the detention of American citizens in Turkey.
"It is a challenge and is well known that there is a disagreement between Turkey and especially United States on this issue," Stoltenburg said on Friday at the Washington D.C-based think-tank Heritage Foundation.
“For NATO what is important is rapid adaptation, that different systems can work together. I have discussed this numerous times with Ankara and Washington and I hope there is an opportunity to solve it,” he said.
Stoltenburg said that despite problems related to Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian defence system, it was important to recognise the importance that Turkey is playing in the whole alliance.