Turkey claims to postpone the deployment of the Russian missile system due to the Corona virus

Beritan Tello –

Ankara announced today, Friday, the postponement of the Russian S-400 system claiming that the delay was due to Corona at a time when the United States had made an explicit threat to Turkey from the deployment of the system.

“There is a delay due to the Coruna virus, but (the deployment of the system) will go ahead as planned,” Ibrahim Calin said during an online meeting hosted by the Atlantic Council, adding that Erdogan had told President Donald Trump several times that he was interested in buying Patriot missiles.

The United States added that the Russian system is incompatible with NATO defense systems and will endanger US F-35s that Turkey intends to buy.

Earlier, Erdogan stated that the S-400 system would be operational in April, but the Corona pandemic focused Turkish efforts to combat the spread of disease and support the economy facing a second recession within two years, and in recent weeks, Erdogan and his government had not raised the issue publicly.

And if Turkey operates the system, it will expose it to US sanctions under the law to address America’s opponents through sanctions, which aim to punish countries that buy defense equipment from Russia.

David Satterfield, the US ambassador to Turkey, said this issue was referred to the Turkish administration more than once.

“We have made our position clear to Turkish President Erdogan and all members of Turkey’s high command, which is that operating the S-400 system greatly exposes Turkey to congressional sanctions, whether they are imposed under legislation to address US opponents or additional legislative sanctions,” the United States said.

He continued, “We have not received guarantees from the Turkish government that allow us to allay these concerns.”

Earlier, Erdogan said, at Ataturk Airport on the third anniversary of the coup attempt in 2016, that eight aircraft had already transported pieces of the Russian system and that more would come as he had repeatedly promised.

It is worth noting that the deal raised tension between Turkey and its NATO partners, especially the United States, which warned Ankara that the move would lead to US sanctions.

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