U.S. Urges Turkey to Jettison Russian S-400 Missile System
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. said its opposition to Turkey’s possession of Russian S-400 missiles hasn’t changed, rebuffing Ankara’s search for compromise on a dispute that’s strained ties between the NATO allies.
“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.
“We have very profound concerns about the S-400 system and the S-400 system in the context of a NATO ally,” he added. “They threaten the security of NATO technology and they’re inconsistent with Turkey’s commitments as a NATO ally.”
The Turkish government is prepared to make concessions, including agreeing to limited use of the Russian missile-defense system, because it’s eager to secure the future supply of spare parts for its U.S.-made weapons and avoid damage to its economy, two Turkish officials familiar with relations between the countries said earlier this week.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar signaled over the weekend that Turkey could give ground on the missiles if the U.S. severs support for Syrian Kurdish forces Ankara views as a mortal threat. Days earlier, U.S. Ambassador David Satterfield told Turkish media that Washington’s policy of working with Syrian Kurdish forces has not changed and that Turkey would have to get rid of its S-400s if it wants related U.S. sanctions lifted.
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