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Turkish Opposition Calls for Activating S-400s Over US Sanctions 'as Soon as Possible'

© Sputnik / Russian Ministry of Defence / Go to the mediabankS-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system seen during the Vostok-2018 military drills
S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system seen during the Vostok-2018 military drills - Sputnik International
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The S-400 air defence missile systems acquired by Turkey from Russia must be put on high alert as soon as possible in the wake of Washington's new sanctions against Ankara, Unal Cevikoz, an adviser to the head of the Turkish opposition Republican People's Party, said on Tuesday.

"Steps to boost the defense of our country, one of the most important NATO countries, were expected to be considered as a measure to strengthen the alliance. Turkey was forced to buy the S-400 systems ... What needs to be done now is to use these $2.5-billion systems as soon as possible," Cevikoz said in a statement.

Late on Monday, the US introduced new sanctions on Turkey's Presidency of Defenсe Industries (SSB) and its head, Ismail Demir, as well as on three other individuals related to the defenсe industry presidency. The US contended that Ankara's decision to acquire the S-400 from Russia will endanger its military technologies and personnel, while providing substantial funds to Russia.

In 2017, Ankara signed an agreement with Moscow preferring Russia's defence systems to the US Patriot system after the US and Turkey failed to reach a consensus over technology transfers. The Turkish leadership's decision triggered a crisis in relations between Ankara and Washington. In response to the delivery of the first batch of S-400 batteries in July 2019, the US removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program on the grounds that Russia could use the air defense system to gather information on the advanced capabilities of the US aircraft.

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