Pentagon Urges Turkey Against Delivery of Russian Missiles
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. urged Turkey not to go ahead with the delivery of Russian S-400 missiles and jettison the battery it already acquired, as Ankara engages in talks with Moscow over the delivery of a second system.
Turkey and Russia have been negotiating over technology transfers and local production ahead of a potential purchase of a second system. Turkey acquired the first battery from Russia in 2019 after dropping talks over a comparable U.S. Patriot system because Washington refused to share technology.
The U.S. recently imposed sanctions on Turkey’s defense industry over the missile purchase, saying the Russian system could be used to gather intelligence on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 stealth fighter. It previously suspended Turkish defense contractors from the international program to help build the F-35.
“Again, we urge Turkey not to move ahead with the delivery of the S-400,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “We believe it’s incompatible with the F-35, and Turkey remains suspended from that program. Again, we urge them not to retain it.”
Turkey remains adamant about keeping Russian missiles, which reflects its desire for an increasingly independent role in regional policies and for economic ties with Russia.
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