The U.S. Senate, on Friday, condemned Turkey over the reported test of the Russian S-400 air defense system which U.S. officials considered a threat to the Washington and NATO.
“Today’s test by Turkey of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system is a stark reminder that Ankara is not deterred by simple meek pleas coming from the Trump administration,” Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement on Friday.
“Erdogan only responds to actions, not words,” Menendez added stressing that the Trump administration’s rapprochement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan represents a serious threat to the American national security.
“In July 2019, Turkey took delivery of the S-400 in clear violation of U.S. sanctions mandated by the Countering America’s Adversaries through sanctions law. The Trump administration has ignored the law, weakening our hand against Putin,” Menendez stated. “It has also emboldened Erdoğan, leading to today’s test.”
“President Trump’s failure to follow the law and his affinity for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pose a serious threat to our national security and that of our NATO allies and partners in Europe,” he added. “Turkey must be sanctioned immediately for its purchase and use of this system.”
For his part, U.S. Senator Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee described Turkey’s S-400 missile defense system testing yesterday in a statement as “Unacceptable behavior.”
“Turkey’s test of the Russian S-400 missile defense system is unacceptable behavior from a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally,” Risch said. “It further damages the alliance and poses a direct threat to the F-35 and other U.S. and NATO allies’ systems.”