U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged Ankara to give up the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system (SAM). The State Department’s press service said in a statement.
“The secretary of state urged Turkey not to keep Russian S-400 missile systems,” the report said. Blinken also expressed support for the ongoing talks between Turkey and Greece.
In late December last year, Turkey and the U.S. established a working group on the purchase of the first Russian S-400 air defense systems. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that technical talks between Ankara and Washington had already begun. A working group will discuss, among other things, U.S. sanctions against Turkey.
Ankara paid Moscow for the C-400 on December 7. Deliveries of the systems, which caused a crisis in Turkey’s relations with the United States, began in mid-July 2019. Washington demanded to back out of the deal and buy American Patriot systems in return, threatening to delay or cancel the sale of the latest F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to Turkey altogether. In total, Turkey was to receive more than 100 aircraft.