US expects Turkey to be a 'great ally,' not make S-400s operational
U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson said that the U.S. expects Turkey to realize the consequences of its decision to make the Russian-made S-400 defense systems operational and to reverse its plans. "We are asking Turkey to once again be the great ally that they have been in the past," she said.
The United States expects Turkey to realize the consequences of its decision to make the Russian-made S-400 air and missile defense system operational and will reverse its plans, US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said on Nov. 30.
"We have registered that with Turkey time and again and we hope that before Turkey turns on that missile defense system that they will understand the consequences and how much it will hurt their alliance and their operability with the rest of us," Sputnik reported Hutchison as saying.
"So, I hope that Turkey is thinking about that and I hope that they will turn back the decision that they made in error to put a Russian missile defense system into Ankara."
Hutchison said the idea of putting a Russian-made air and missile defense system in the middle of NATO is "out of balance."
She also said that Turkey has been a great long-time ally for NATO but some of the behavior is problematic to the unity of the alliance.
"Most certainly many of us are trying to work with Turkey in a way that would cement our alliance's unity and we are asking Turkey to once again be the great ally that they have been in the past," she said.
In October, the Turkish Defense Ministry said that Turkey expects NATO to offer alternatives to the S-400 air and missile defense systems instead of criticism in connection with the purchase of the system from Russia.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar then confirmed that Turkey had conducted tests of the S-400 systems, adding that this was scheduled within the contract.
The U.S. Defense Department has condemned the tests and threatened Turkey with "consequences," but Turkey has repeatedly vowed to activate the missile systems despite U.S. threats.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly said that Ankara was ready to buy U.S. Patriot systems under the condition of technology transfer to Turkey, but adding that the issue of abandoning the S-400 systems was out of the question.
Hutchinson spoke ahead of the meeting of NATO ministers of foreign affairs planned for Dec. 1 and 2.