The US State Department has urged Ankara to get rid of the Russian S-400 missile defence systems, citing that they are “inconsistent” with Turkey’s commitments as a NATO ally.
“We have and we continue to urge Turkey not to retain this system,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a news briefing in Washington on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to discuss the matter with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in the coming days, the State Department spokesperson, Ned Price said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
He added that Washington’s policy remain unchanged, despite the comments by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Hulusi Akar, that the country will propose only partially activating its Russian S-400s in negotiations with the US.
“Russian S-400s are incompatible with NATO equipment, they threaten the security of NATO technology, and they’re inconsistent with Turkey’s commitments as a NATO ally,” Price told reporters.
In December, the US sanctioned Ankara for acquiring the S-400s on grounds they threaten its F-35 fighter jets and are incompatible with shared NATO defences. Turkey has rejected the claims, arguing that the missiles did not have to remain active at all times but could rather operate as Greece uses its S-300s, stationed on the island of Crete.