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    Ankara Won't Allow Questioning Its NATO Status Over S-400s – Official

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey will not allow NATO to question its status of an alliance member over the decision to buy Russian S-400 air defence systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told the Anadolu news agency in an interview.

    "Besides, we are not an observer [country] there. We are one of the members. We are a country that has a say in all decisions … Therefore, we will not allow the questioning of Turkey’s position in NATO," Kalin said.

    READ MORE: Turkey Ready to Adjust S-400 Parameters If US Proves They're 'Threat'

    The spokesman pointed out that Turkey must have an opportunity to make the choice itself.

    "Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in the history of the world, or does it want to risk the security of that partnership?" Kalin stressed.

    The spokesman added that the Turkish relations with Russia were not an alternative to the development of ties with Europe or the United States, as Ankara wants to conduct a multidimensional foreign policy.

    Earlier in April, US Vice President Mike Pence said that Turkey had a choice either to remain a key NATO partner or to undermine the alliance by purchasing the S-400, which Washington saw as a threat.

    In December 2017, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement for the supply of S-400 air defence systems.

    The Russian-Turkish cooperation on S-400 deliveries has been criticized by NATO and the United States, which have cited security concerns and the inability of integration between S-400 and NATO's air defence systems. Ankara, in its turn, has said that purchase of military equipment is its sovereign affair and ruled out the possibility of abandoning its plans. The first shipment of S-400 air defence systems is expected to be delivered to Ankara in July.

    Related:

    US Lists RISKS Turkey Will Face if it Doesn't Bow to Pressure Over S-400 Deal
    No Talk About Russia, Turkey Jointly Producing S-400 Systems - Peskov
    Russia Hails Turkey's Stance on S-400 Systems Despite US Pressure - Kremlin
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    S-400, NATO, Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey
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