Pence put Turkey before a choice between NATO and the Russian C-400

The US Vice President Mike Pence warned Turkey against buying a Russian C-400 missile system, urging it to choose between a partnership with NATO and this deal. American official said about this at an event of the North Atlantic Alliance in Washington.

“Turkey has to make a choice: does it want to remain an important partner in the most successful military Alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of this partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our Alliance?” Pence said.

On the eve of the fact that Washington hopes to settle the dispute with Ankara over Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, said the acting defense Minister Patrick Shanahan. In his opinion, the parties will be able to find a way out of the situation, and the United States will eventually persuade Turkey to purchase the American Patriot defense system instead of the C-400.

At the same time, two months ago, in February, Turkish leader Recep Erdogan claimed that Ankara was not going to refuse the deal with Moscow.
The agreement on the supply by Russia to Turkey four battalions of C-400 for $ 2.5 billion, the parties entered in December 2017. A year later, it became known that Washington offered Ankara to buy its Patriot complexes for $ 3.5 billion. The source of the newspaper Hürriyet in the White House administration at the same time noted that if Turkey does not refuse to buy C-400, the US can impose sanctions against it. The deal with Russia, he said, would be contrary to the sanctions law “On countering America’s enemies” (CAATSA).

Also, the US defense Ministry claimed that the Russian C-400 is incompatible with the standards of the Alliance. The fact that these systems will not be able to integrate into NATO air defense, repeatedly pointed out in Washington and Brussels, and NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg said: such a step on the part of Ankara is a challenge.

Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Chavushoglu, in response, said: if the United States will require to cancel the contract for the supply of C-400, Republic, more likely, will refuse from Patriot.