Pence warns Turkey against buying Russian air defenses

Pence warns Turkey against buying Russian air defenses

Pence warns Turkey against buying Russian air defenses

Trying to preserve a working relationship with Washington amid disagreements over Turkey's purchase of modern weapon systems from Russia, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday proposed creating a bilateral technical panel to make sure that the S-400 "will not be a threat - neither to F-35s nor the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems".

The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest of a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey including Turkish demands that the United States extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran. Turkey has said it will take delivery of the S-400s in July.

"There is no evidence that Russian Federation allegedly violated the INF Treaty and we were not presented with such despite our persistent appeals to the United States to provide facts", TASS news agency quoted Grushko as saying.

The foreign ministers held a series of sessions on the first day of the meeting at the headquarters of the U.S. State Department focusing on Russian Federation and the Black Sea region where Moscow seized three Ukrainian ships a year ago.

"Turkey must choose - does it want to remain a critical partner of the most successful military alliance in the history of the world, or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?"

Germany has come under fire from U.S. President Donald J. Trump for failing to live up to the defence spending commitment of two per cent of GDP, with Germany behind on its own below-guidelines goal of 1.5 per cent by 2024.

"If Germany persists in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as President Trump said, it could turn Germany's economy into literally a captive of Russia", Pence told the event, held incongruously in a hip new music venue.

He said that Turkish pilots were still training in the US.

American experts are concerned that if the S-400 missile system is in Turkey, the Russians will gain valuable information about the F-35.

While Pence said that "the alliance at 70 has never been stronger", that did not stop him from criticizing both countries for being poor allies. "We also want good trade ties with China".

The United States has done all of that and more - well more than our fair share.

In a sign of rising tensions between the two capitals, Turkey's foreign ministry disputed the U.S. State Department's account of the meeting, which said Pompeo had warned of "potentially devastating consequences" of unilateral Turkish military action in northern Syria as well as consequences for buying the S-400.

"The People's Alliance [the political bloc the ruling Justice and Development Party is part of] received 53.3 percent of the vote". In the wake of Turkey's plans to purchase S-400 systems, Washington announced on Monday it was halting the deliveries of equipment to Turkey under the program of developing the most advanced F-35 fighter-bomber.

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