Turkey’s S-400 Resale to US Would Be ‘Sign of Weakness,’ Disrupt Gov’t Prestige – Lawmaker

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 01st July, 2020) Turkey‘s resale of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems to the United States would undermine its reputation of a country that stands up to its interests and trigger a backlash at home, Turkish opposition lawmaker Ozturk Yilmaz told Sputnik after a US senator suggested buying the Russian weapons from its NATO ally to finally end the row around the equipment.

In a proposed amendment to the US defense budget last week, Republican Senator John Thune suggested buying Russian S-400s from Ankara in a bid to break the deadlock over the weapons, which Washington says are incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise the operations of the new fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets. Ankara has repeatedly vowed to activate the missile systems, delivered by Russia last summer, despite US sanctions threats.

“If Turkey re-sells this system to the United States that will be a prestige erosion for the government of Turkey. And this will be really a sort of criticism directed to the government by all opposition.

And this will be a sign of weakness of the government,” Yilmaz, a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, said.

The lawmaker doubted that Ankara would ever agree to resell these systems to the US, saying that the issue is “not even on any agenda of Turkey for the moment.”

“The US is doing everything possible to stop the activation of S-400 missile systems within the NATO boundary particularly in Turkey. So they can do anything to stop this,” he noted, adding that the US might offer Ankara something in return for the resale.

Should the country agree, it would play into the hands of the US, which fears that Turkey is “slipping into the Russian orbit,” and sour relations with Moscow, the lawmaker went on.

“So this is a very tricky situation,” Yilmaz said.

In a bid to force Turkey to abandon the S-400 deal, the US has excluded Turkey from the F-35 production and procurement project and also threatens it with sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

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