The S-400s were delivered and it threatens the EU after sanctions regarding Cyprus
Ankara, despite Washington’s warnings of possible sanctions against it, received the first batch of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems.
The images of the 3 Russian Antonov aircrafts landing on the Murted air base in Ankara were broadcast live on all Turkish television networks. Shortly after, the Turkish Ministry of Defense provided images from inside the base, in which Turkish trucks appeared to be carrying the S-400s. This vigorous projection is considered to be an attempt for Turkey to state its determination to receive this anti-aircraft system, which particularly satisfies Moscow.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that “3 aircrafts have landed bearing the systems. It is a process that will continue in the coming days. We did not face any problems during the receiving process. Our staff’s training will continue in both Turkey and Moscow and will go on in the immediate future. ” He also said that Ankara continues to look at the possibility of buying American Patriot anti-aircraft systems.
On Wednesday, the State Department spokesman, Morgan Ortagus, had recalled the “real and negative repercussions” on Turkey, if it continues with the supplying of Russian S-400 missiles. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly reiterated that the agreement with Moscow signed in 2017 is irreversible and he himself had stated that missiles’ transport to his country would begin in July.
At the same time, Ankara called on the US government to avoid any measures, warning of the impact they might have on the relations between the two NATO members. “We are calling on the US side to avoid taking any wrongful measures, aside from diplomacy and discussion, that could cause damage to the relations between the United States and Turkey,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy commented.
Donald Trump, during his meeting with Erdogan two weeks ago laid the blame for the problem that had occurred on Obama’s previous administration’s refusal to grant Turkey Patriot missiles, without stating clearly what his attitude would be on the question of sanctions.
Hami Aksoy has made it clear that the US has not yet responded to the Turkish proposal to set up a joint commission, which would look into the possible consequences of installing Russian missiles in Turkey.
Cavusoglu: “If the EU imposes sanctions we will answer with more intense activity in Cyprus “
In Brussels, the tacit procedure for approving the text regarding measures against Turkey was completed. According to information, no country expressed its disagreement, and therefore the text was approved as agreed.
The text includes measures such as the postponement of high-level discussions with Turkey, the suspension of discussions on the air transport agreement, the reduction of the pre-accession funds (EUR 160 million) as well as the revision of the European Central Bank’s lending activities to Turkey.
A high-ranking European official said “Turkey’s mining activity is illegal; we want it to stop. The EU stands in complete solidarity with Cyprus. The process is underway and I do not want to reveal any more details. ”
But these measures so far do not seem to stop Ankara from halting its drilling on the continental shelf of Cyprus, and Mevlut Cavusoglu has threatened the EU that in the event of sanctions, Ankara will respond with more intense activity in Cyprus.
“If we have to, we will take further steps and no one can stop us. However, if the EU, just to satisfy the Greek Cypriot Administration (Republic of Cyprus) –though I admit that up until now they have stood their ground- takes any steps towards showing its support, then we will answer and increase our activity in Cyprus. We will do it without any doubt. We will do everything we can to support Turkey’s and the Turkish-Cypriots’ rights” he stated. /ibna