Pence warns Turkey against buying Russian air defense system

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is warning that Turkey could risk its membership in NATO if it goes ahead with plans to buy a Russian air defense system despite widespread U.S. and international opposition.

Pence’s escalating rhetoric came after Turkey insisted Wednesday that the Russian deal was done, signaling an apparent impasse between the two NATO allies.

Pence says Turkey risks expulsion from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which could cripple Turkish manufacturers who are making parts for the aircraft.

He says Turkey must decide if it wants to remain a critical partner in NATO or instead risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions that undermine the alliance.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the Russian S-400 system won’t be a threat to NATO.

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