ISTANBUL — The first shipment of a sophisticated Russian surface-to-air missile system arrived in Turkey on Friday, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced, a process that is expected to incur United States sanctions and will test the NATO alliance.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been insistent in his determination to purchase the S-400 antiaircraft missile system, despite warnings from the United States. Washington has warned that the deal will lead to economic penalties against Turkey, a fellow NATO member, and cancellation of Turkey’s purchase of American F-35 fighter jets.
The United States has argued that the S-400 missile system is incompatible with NATO equipment, and that having Turkey operating both the Russian antiaircraft missiles and the F-35 could give Russia access to the American jets’ secret stealth technology.
The Turkish defense ministry said the first parts of the system arrived at Murted airfield in Ankara on Friday.
Turkey would be liable for sanctions under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which mandates United States sanctions against anyone making a significant deal with the Russian defense industry. American officials have said Turkey would incur sanctions as soon as it received the weapon system on its soil.
The law calls on President Trump to select five sanctions from a list of 12 to impose against Turkey. There is no waiver or suspension that could apply to Turkey, but there is no time schedule laid down for enforcement.