13:04 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

    US National Intelligence Chief: Russia Could ‘Drive Wedge’ Between Turkey, NATO

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    US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claims that Russia may use the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey to come between Turkey and its NATO allies.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia may use the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey to come between Turkey and its NATO allies, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday.

    "I think Putin, being the opportunist that he is, if he can see a way to drive a wedge between Turkey and the west, specifically Turkey and NATO, he will," Clapper stated at the Aspen Security Forum.

    However, Clapper went on to say that such a strategy would not work because Turkey enjoys the safeguards and protections provided by the NATO alliance.

    "I think the Russians will resume Russian tourism to Turkey and many of the economic levers that the Russians exerted will be turned off," Clapper added.

    Turkey and Russia ended seven months of tension in late June when Erdogan wrote a letter to Putin in which he apologized for the downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft by a Turkish jet in November 2015 over Syria.

    The Russian and Turkish presidents are expected to meet on August 9 in St. Petersburg for the first time since the bilateral relations deteriorated.


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