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NATO: Turkey is Much More Than S-400

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Friday, 19 July, 2019, 16:05
NATO: Turkey is Much More Than S-400

Speaking at the Aspen Institute's annual security forum in Colorado, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of the NATO, commented on Turkey's purchase of S-400 air defense missile system from Russia.

The statement of NATO Secretary General came shortly after the US Department of Defense and White House announced that Turkey has been suspended from the F-35 program.

"It is up to each and every nation to decide what kind of [defense] systems they acquire. But what matters for NATO is interoperability", Stoltenberg indicated and added that "Turkey's S-400 will not be integrated into NATO's air defense system because it will not be interoperable."

Stoltenberg also referred to Turkey as "a key ally in the fight against Daesh/ISIS" and said that "Turkey is much more than S-400."

'Not possible to integrate into NATO system'
As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), Stoltenberg made the following remarks about the issue:

"Turkey's contribution to NATO runs much deeper and much broader than the F-35. That is important. (...) We used the bases, infrastructure and Turkey played a key part in that fight.

"It is not possible to integrate the S-400 into the NATO air defense and missile system, which is about sharing radar pictures, joint air policing, which is about shared capabilities. And Turkey has not asked for that.

"My responsibility is partly to try to help solve the issue. But as long as the issue is not solved, we need to minimize negative consequences. (...) The role of Turkey is much broader than the F-35 or S-400."

NATO previously said 'Access will be restricted'
In a statement dated November 17, 2017, the Deputy Under Secretary of the US Air Force Heidi H. Grant said, "In case Turkey purchases the S-400 air defense system, its access to the NATO technology will be restricted."