Washington calls on Ankara to dispose of Russian S-400s
The US State Department called on Turkey not to keep the Russian S-400 missiles it acquired in 2019, in response to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar’s latest remarks stating that his country is ready to use the weaponry if needed.
Washington’s stance over the issue remains unchanged, a State Department spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday, Kathimerini newspaper reported.
The spokesperson also warned that any new dealings with the Russian defense industry carries the risk of additional US sanctions on Ankara.
Turkey in 2019 acquired Russian-made S-400 air defence systems, prompting strong condemnation from the United States and the NATO. In response to Turkey’s purchase, Washington excluded Ankara from a F-35 fifth generation fighter jet development programme and imposed sanctions on its defence industry under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Akar on Tuesday said Russian defense systems are in place and ready to use if any threats arise.
The US says the S-400s are incompatible with NATO equipment and poses a threat to the security of NATO’s technology. Washington also says that the purchase is inconsistent with Turkey's commitments as a NATO ally.