The United States renewed its call on Turkey to forgo an advanced Russian air defense system, rejecting a proposal from Ankara to resolve the dispute.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in an interview this week spoke of a compromise solution in which Turkey would not fully deploy the S-400s, which Russia initially built to target Western warplanes.
“Our policy towards the S-400 has not changed,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said when asked about the Turkish proposal on February 10.
“The Russian S-400s are incompatible with NATO equipment, they threaten the security of NATO technology and they are incompatible with Turkey’s commitments as a NATO ally,” said Price to reporters.
“We have urged and continue to urge Turkey not to keep this system.”
Akar brought up the case of Turkey’s historic rival Greece, which bought Russia’s old S-300 system after Turkish threats to attack Cyprus but failed to make it fully operational.
US officials rejected the comparison, saying the S-400 was a more advanced system.
Turkey struck the deal with Moscow despite warnings from the United States, which under former President Donald Trump excluded Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet program and imposed sanctions on the military procurement department of Turkey.
Price also said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, shortly.
“I expect the secretary and his Turkish counterpart to have the opportunity to discuss, to connect in the coming days,” he told reporters.
President Joe Biden pledged during the election campaign to harden the US stance on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he called an autocrat.