Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown the importance of NATO allies not being dependent on Russian military equipment, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in his speech at the Diplomacy Forum in Antalya on Friday.
While he did not explicitly mentioned the Russian S-400 missiles, both Turkish and Greek media understood it as a risk hint to Turkey.
US officials have long complained that Turkey’s S-400 defense system, purchased from Russia, is incompatible with NATO equipment and a potential threat to allied security, reuters reported.
In interviews with Turkish media, Stoltenberg reportedly also praised Turkey as a “valuable and key ally” and underlined its diplomatic efforts to stop the ongoing war in Ukraine through facilitating a meeting between Kiev and Moscow in Antalya.
In an interview with state-run news agency anadolu, Stoltenberg explained why enacting a no-fly zone in Ukraine was impossible.
“Implementing a no-fly zone in Ukraine would mean massive airstrikes against Russian air defense systems, leading to a direct confrontation with Russia,” he stressed.
He added that the NATO “understands frustration” in Ukraine while noting that “an escalation beyond Ukraine’s borders would actually just cause even more suffering, more death.”