Senator Menendez to Turkey for New S-400 Acquisition: Clear Violation of US Sanctions

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Her strong disapproval of in the event the Turkey to acquire additional arrays of the Russian anti-missile system S-400 expressed the Senator Robert Menendez. The reaction of the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee comes in the wake of the publication of the Russian news agency TASS which claims that Turkey is preparing to sign a new agreement with Russia for the supply of the S-400 system.

It is recalled that Ankara’s intentions have not yet been fully clarified, as it remains to be confirmed whether Turkey really intends to sign a new defense contract with Russia. In any case, the possibility of acquiring a new S-400 array remains on the table, as such is provided for in the contract it has already signed with the Russian side.

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Both scenarios are vehemently opposed by Senator Menendez, who characterizes the procurement of additional S-400 clear violation of US sanctions and calls Turkey to reject any military cooperation with Vladimir Putin, whom he describes as a war criminal.

Senator Menendez’s announcement on the supply of new S-400s to Turkey

“I am deeply concerned by reports that Turkey is considering further purchases of the Russian S-400 missile defense systema delivery that would constitute another clear violation of US sanctions imposed by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

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As Russia continues its brutal and illegal invasion of UkraineTurkey has the responsibility and the opportunity to unequivocally demonstrate its commitment to NATO and regional peace and security by completely rejecting any military cooperation with a war criminal like Vladimir Putin.

Between ongoing competitive violations of Greece’s airspaceand the delay in the accession process of Sweden and Finland to NATO, I sincerely hope Turkey to change course and live up to its responsibilities to the defense alliance, being the constructive partner in the region that we all hope it can be. The United States must be clear: any expansion of Turkey’s ties to the Russian defense sector would be a grave mistake that would further jeopardize the security of our allies and partners in NATO and across Europe.”

The State Department’s Initial Reaction to the Publication of the Russian News Agency TASS

Responding to a question from the Hellas Journal website regarding the possibility of a new agreement providing for the supply of additional S-400s to Turkey, a representative of State Department expressed the opposition of the US to such a move. As he characteristically noted, “we have seen these publications but we are not aware of any new developments on this matter. Our position on the S-400 purchase from Turkey is known. We refer you to the Turkish government to talk about its defense procurement plans. Given Russia’s brutal and unjustified ongoing invasion of Ukraine, now more than ever we urge all countries to avoid doing business with Russia’s defense sector, which puts them at risk of sanctions.”

Later that day (July 16), State Department spokesman Ned Price took over, moving along the same lines during the standard press briefing. He appeared, however, to be taking a wait-and-see attitude, as he did not want to announce any changes to the F-16 fighter upgrade issue before the landscape was fully clarified. Asked whether the procurement of a second batch of S-400s could change the US government’s position on the F-16, Ned Price said, “of course we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but we don’t know. no new developments on this matter and so we will refer you to the Turkish authorities for now to discuss their plans.”

State Department Opposes Both Scenarios for Additional S-400 Supply

However, the State Department’s objections are not limited to the scenario presented by the TASS agency, which concerns the signing of a new contract between the Russian and Turkish sides.

In a clarifying question submitted by APE-MPE, on whether Washington is asking not to proceed with the existing contract that provides for the supply of a second S-400 array, a representative of the American Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that the US is not just calling for no new procurement but continues to call on Turkey to completely abandon the S-400 system it already possesses.

“We have seen these reports and are not aware of any new developments on this matter. Our position on Turkey’s S-400 purchase is well known: we call on Turkey to no longer possess the S-400 system. Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400s directly contradicts commitments made by all Allies at the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw to reduce dependence on Russian equipment. We refer you to the Turkish government to talk about its defense procurement plans.”

Source: News Beast

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