US still pressing Turkey to 'walk away' from Russian missile purchase, official says

US still pressing Turkey to 'walk away' from Russian missile purchase, official says

FILE PHOTO: Russian servicemen sit in the cabins of S-400 missile air defence systems before a para
FILE PHOTO: Russian servicemen sit in the cabins of S-400 missile air defence systems before a parade marking the anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia, April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva/File Photo

WASHINGTON: The United States is still in talks with Turkey to get Ankara to 'walk away' from the Russian missile defence system it bought, a senior State Department official said on Friday (Oct 25).

"There’s still work to get the Turks to walk away from the S400s: be it turn it off, send it back, destroy it, what have you," the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. "That is still an ongoing issue. We're talking about re-mediating, re-addressing, reconciling. That's not off the table."

Batteries of the S-400 began arriving in Turkey in July but have not yet been switched on, which the U.S. official acknowledged.

NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been at loggerheads over the purchase of the S-400 system, which the United States says is not compatible with NATO defences and poses a threat to Lockheed Martin's F-35 'stealth' fighter jet.

Washington has previously warned Ankara that it will face sanctions over the purchase and removed Turkey from its F-35 program, but has fallen short of slapping such penalties.

The risk of sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was part of a broader set of unresolved issues that the United States has with Turkey, the official said.

Source: Reuters/nh

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