Russia says US, NATO troubled by Turkey’s new found independence
Turkey’s firm commitment to an independent course is causing concerns in the United States and NATO, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
“The way the United States is trying to raise its voice at Ankara over the story with the S-400s and Ankara’s other actions, indicate that Washington does not like how (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan is confidently leading Turkey forward and that they would prefer a more compliant Turkey," Peskov said in a live television broadcast, according to TASS news agency.
Relations between the United States and Turkey have fractured by Ankara’s acquisition of a missile defence system from Russia in 2019. Washington says the S-400 missiles pose a threat to NATO security and are incompatible with membership of the alliance.
NATO and the United States have also both expressed their concern over Turkey’s deteriorating human rights record. NATO membership requires adherence to democratic principles.
“Turkey’s independent course has raised alarm bells in the United States and NATO, so they have come out with harsh statements against Ankara,” Peskov said.
On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden formally recognised the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as an act of genocide. The move drew harsh criticism from Turkish officials, who strongly reject the characterisation.
Commenting on the issue, Peskov said Biden’s decision was politically motivated. "I believe that to a larger extent, Washington’s recognition of the genocide is most likely an integral part of this favourite ‘carrot and stick’ game.”
“This is not the desire to show sympathy for the Armenian people and it is not the desire to deeply understand the history of the Ottoman Empire and the history of Armenia," he added.