Turkey Stockpiles Crucial Weapons Parts, Anticipating U.S. Sanctions
Turkey, girding for the worst despite encouraging messages from President Donald Trump, has stockpiled crucial spare parts for American-made weapons in case Congress sanctions it over a contentious Russian missile purchase.
It’s unclear when the stockpiling decision was first taken, but Turkish officials say the preparations were made in anticipation of possible U.S. embargoes. The U.S. has been threatening sanctions against Turkey since 2018, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to buy the Russian S-400 missile-defense system, a competitor to American-made Patriots.
Also see FT editorial board: High-stakes crisis
The S-400 deal is a diplomatic triumph for Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, and his campaign to undermine western cohesion. It disregards the need for interoperable weapons systems within Nato. If these missile batteries are deployed inside Turkey, that will enable Russia to acquire information about the F-35, due to become the alliance’s main combat aircraft. Turkey, like any sovereign state, is entitled to make its own choices on defence procurement. But as a Nato member, it is not entitled to punch a hole in the solidarity and security of the alliance.