MOSCOW – Russia will deliver its S-400 air defense missile system to NATO member Turkey in the coming days, a spokesman for the Kremlin said Friday with Western Military Alliance.
However, the extent of Washington's potential response remains clouded by apparently conflicting messages.
President Trump has publicly expressed his sympathy for the attitude of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan towards the purchase of Russian missiles. However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against harsh measures that could include suspending the sale of F-35 fighters to Turkey.
On Friday, the Foreign Ministry stepped up its warnings of "very real and negative consequences" for Turkey
For the broader NATO alliance, the Turkish agreement is at the center of military coordination. NATO has expressed concerns that the S-400 is not compatible with the US-made F-35 and would give Russia access to secrets of its stealth technology.
For more than a year, the US has asked Erdogan not to procure the sophisticated Russian air defense system ̵
But while US officials were certainly presenting the sanctions on Turkey, Trump refrained from pursuing a hard line on Erdogan over the S-400 during talks at the Group 20 summit last month in Japan.
Trump noted that Turkey is helping to create US jobs by paying a "huge sum of money" for the F-400. 35 fighter made by Lockheed Martin.
Trump told reporters at the summit that Erdogan had initially sought to buy Patriot missiles, but had been treated by the Obama administration as "very unfair" without giving any indication.
But the United States had tried to conclude an agreement with Ankara on the Patriot systems. Erdogan insisted that any agreement include the exchange of technology so that Turkey can design and build its own rockets. The Obama administration rejected the offer.
At the G-20 summit, Trump did not directly answer the question of whether the US would impose sanctions on Turkey.
However, Erdogan said after his talks with Trump that Turkey would do so to be spared US sanctions.
Erdogan has presented the purchase as Turkey's sovereignty stating that the US has not offered a comparable deal for the Patriot missile system Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday: "I can confirm on behalf of the Kremlin that the S 400 deal goes according to plan. "
Haberturk, the Turkish private broadcaster, said the first shipment of the S-400 would load cargo planes on Sunday and arrive in Turkey next week.
Washington has threatened to impose sanctions in response to the purchase of the Russian system in the context of Countering America The Law on Enemy through Sanctions, which requires US sanctions against individuals who enter into a "significant" deal with the Russian defense industry. US officials have insisted last year that Turkey can only avoid such sanctions if it gives up buying the S-400.
The State Department reiterated on Friday its earlier warnings that Turkey is facing sanctions.  "The United States has consistently and clearly stated that Turkey will face very real and negative consequences if it continues its S-400 acquisition, including suspension of procurement and industrial participation in the F-35. Program and the threat of sanctions, "she said a spokesman for the US State Department.
Last month, in a demonstration, the Pentagon announced its determination to stop training Turkish pilots to fly the US-made F-35 fighter.
India also wants S-400 from Russia, and has resisted the threat of US sanctions by concluding a deal to buy five S-400 batteries for $ 5.4 billion. Russia delivers many weapon systems to India.
India has asked for US sanctions to be lifted, and the agreement makes it harder for the government to expand trade and diplomatic relations with New Delhi. US officials said they "urge" India not to buy the Russian missile system and "encourage" it to find alternatives so as not to trigger sanctions.
But during Pompeo's visit to New Delhi last month, India showed little signs of pulling back. Asked about the S-400 purchase, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said in a press conference with Pompeo that India would act in his national interest and noted that his relations with other countries had "history".
Pompeo said the two countries had friends and partners and vowed to "find a way to overcome the differences".
Fahim reported from Istanbul. Carol Morello from Washington contributed to this report.