NATO criticized a possible test by Turkey of its Russian-made S-400 missile launcher and stepped up calls on Ankara to opt for a different defense system.
“Any test of the S-400 air defense system by Turkey, if confirmed, would be regrettable,” NATO said Saturday in an emailed statement. “It is important Turkey continues to work with other allies to find alternative solutions.”
On Friday, the U.S. Defense Department said it was aware of reports of a possible Turkish test of the S-400 system. “If accurate, the Department strongly condemns the test,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said on Twitter.
Last week, Turkey issued an official notification of a four-day firing exercise around the country’s Black Sea coast to last through Friday.
The notice was given after people familiar with the matter said Turkey was planning to conduct a test of its S-400 system during the same period. Turkey’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on whether the two were related.