Turkey urges ‘review’ of US sanction decision over S-400s

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – A senior Turkish official calls on the new US administration to engage in dialogue with Turkey and review the decision to sanction the country for its purchase of an advanced Russian air defense system.

This request comes even though Washington has made it clear that there can be no waiver of sanctions until Ankara has Russian technology.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar would not question whether Turkey would consider getting rid of Russia’s S-400 system under US pressure. But he said he hoped a solution could be found “through common sense before it comes to this.”

Akar also said talks with Russia about acquiring a second shipment of S-400s are continuing.

In December, the United States sanctioned four Turkish officials under a US law known as CAATSA, which aims to push back Russian influence. The sanctions, which also included a ban on export licenses to Turkey’s defense industries presidency, were the first time the law had been used to punish a NATO ally.

Previously, Turkey had also been excluded from the US F-35 stealth aircraft program, over concerns that Russian technology could compromise the safety of fighter jets.

The sanctions widened a wedge between Washington and Ankara, which were at odds on a variety of issues, including Turkish military actions in Syria and elsewhere.

Akar renewed Turkey’s calls for dialogue to break the deadlock. Turkey maintains that the S-400s would affect neither NATO systems nor the F-35s.

“We’re saying don’t break things that way. Let’s sit down and talk and find a solution, ”Akar said.

US officials have ruled out the possibility of talks with Turkey about the S-400’s risks to the F-35s. They also said that the sanctions could not be lifted as long as the Russian air defense system remains on Turkish soil.

Akar said Turkey had no choice but to acquire the Russian air defense system after no NATO ally offered Turkey favorable terms.

Asked whether Turkey is considering purchasing Russian-made jets after its withdrawal from the US fighter jets program, Akar said Turkey wants to “go back to the F-35 program” and develop its own program. national combat aircraft and modernize its fleet F-16 aircraft.

“We are part of NATO, we are with the European Union and the United States. Therefore, we want to be with Europe, with the United States and NATO for our defense and our security, ”he said.

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