Foreign minister accuses some NATO allies of 'serious resistance' to providing even simple equipment
Some NATO members have shown "serious resistance" to supply even simple weapons from Turkey, the country’s foreign minister said Thursday.
Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference in Rome after meeting his counterpart Angelino Alfano that Turkey needed to build its own air defense system.
"[If] I cannot get it from my allies, then I have to take it from somewhere else," he said, referring to a fresh deal with Russia for the purchase of the S-400 air defense system despite NATO concerns.
"We, as Turkey, want to protect our airspace because there are very serious threats. We prioritize NATO member states to meet our other needs, including the air defense system that we essentially need to protect our airspace or establish its security.
"But recently, some of the NATO allies have shown serious resistance to give Turkey the defense systems we need, including simple weapons," Cavusoglu said.
The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
The system can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).
"The first delivery of the S-400 air-defense systems is planned to be accomplished in 2019," said Turkey’s national defense minister on Wednesday.