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Turkey Refuses to Ditch Russian S-400s After Biden Cabinet Confirms It Will Maintain Sanctions

Sputnik News

Tim Korso. Sputnik International
18:18 GMT 11.02.2021(updated 18:47 GMT 11.02.2021)

Previously, the Democrat's team revealed that he is not planning to overturn the policy of punishing Turkey over the acquisition of Russian air defence systems initiated under Republican Donald Trump. Biden's administration accused Turkey of not acting like a NATO ally by buying weapons from Moscow.

Turkey is not planning to renege on the S-400 air defence systems it bought from Russia, a spokesman for the country's president, Ibrahim Kalin, has stated in an interview with TRT Haber.

The spokesman stressed that the decision to buy the air defences from Russia was not made overnight and recalled that the contract had been signed before the US signed into law its Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, allowing the White House to introduce sanctions against countries buying weapons from states deemed "adversary" by Washington - namely Russia and China.

Kalin said that Ankara expressed readiness to negotiate on the issue with Biden's administration, but the process has not been started yet. He added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might meet his American counterpart soon.

Biden's cabinet members earlier announced they are not planning to lift the punishment for the S-400 acquisition from Turkey, maintaining the freeze of F-35 jets deliveries and keeping the sanctions against country's defence officials. They also indicated that Washington is not planning to create a joint working group with Ankara to resolve the disagreements between the two countries created by the purchase of the Russian air defence systems.

The US claims the Russian air defences are incompatible with the NATO defence grid despite not having any problem with Greece installing S-300 – the predecessor of the S-400s Turkey bought. Washington further claimed that S-400s can detect vulnerabilities in F-35s and transmit the data on them to Moscow, despite Ankara and Kremlin denying such a claim. The White House insisted that Turkey must ditch the Russian systems and buy Patriots instead, despite previously stalling their sale during Barack Obama's administration. Ankara, however, strongly rejected the possibility of getting rid of S-400 systems calling their purchase a sovereign right of Turkey.

© Sputnik

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