U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Turkey against buying Russian military equipment as it would undermine the NATO alliance.
It would be “reckless” if Turkey used the Russian-made S-400 anti-missile system, he added during a Wednesday NATO event in Washington.
“Turkey must choose,” said Pence. “Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?”
“[Trump] has made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries that threaten the cohesion of our alliance.”
Turkey’s use of the system potentially exposes F-35 weaknesses to Russia, according to RT:
US lawmakers and military officials have consistently warned that Turkey’s deployment of the S-400 would give the Russian system opportunity to learn how to track and spot the F-35, with potentially deadly consequences for the jet in future conflicts.
America has previously attempted to thwart the 2017 deal by offering Turkey Raytheon’s more expensive Patriot missile systems at a discount.
Despite this, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu has said the purchase was “a done deal” and it that wasn’t a threat.
As of this writing, Turkey is scheduled to receive the first S-400 parts in July.
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