The United States is still negotiating with Turkey to convince Ankara to throw off the Russian S-400 air defence systems, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a U.S. official familiar with the matter.
“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,” Reuters quoted a U.S. official as saying.
After Turkey accepted the delivery of S-400s, the United States halted the delivery of 100 F-35 stealth fighters to the country and the Pentagon also suspended Turkey’s participation in the programme to build F-35s over concerns that S-400 systems could access sensitive data on the aircraft’s defence.
Turkey still risks sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which aims to deter third parties from defence partnership with Russia.
“We are still working all these other issues that are not yet resolved with Turkey and the risk of CATSAA sanctions is part of that broader set of issues we have with the Turks,” the official said.
In August, the United States has formally withdrawn an offer to Turkey for the sale of U.S.-made Patriot batteries in retaliation for Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems after the U.S. State Department in December approved a $3.5 billion sale of Patriot batteries to Turkey.
U.S. Patriot missiles could still be made available to the Turkish government, according to the U.S. official.
Meanwhile, Turkey is about to reach a deal with Russia over the purchase of Su-35 fighter jets and jointly producing some components of the jets.