S-400 No More: Turkey to Discuss Purchase of Patriot System With US

© Sputnik / Igor Zarembo / Go to the mediabankAmerican Patriot missiles (File)
American Patriot missiles  (File) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey and the United States are expected to discuss the former's purchase of US Patriot missile system, Aksam Turkish newspaper reported on Friday, citing a statement made by Hami Aksoy, the spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Aksoy is expected to discuss the issue during a possible visit to the United States next week, the newspaper reported.

The news comes after a group of US lawmakers, led by Senator Bob Menendez, told the State Department in a letter on March 17 that any sale of Russian S-400 air defense systems — including to Turkey — should lead to punitive measures under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement on the purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems in December 2017. According to the deal, Russia will supply Turkey with four batteries of S-400s. The initial delivery of the batteries to Ankara is planned for the first quarter of 2020, and the systems will be operated by the Turkish Armed Forces independently of Russia.

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The deal also faced criticism from Turkey's NATO allies. On March 3, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said that the S-400 were incompatible with NATO members' systems, while NATO's Military Committee Chairman Petr Pavel warned that although the nations had sovereignty in decision-making, they were also "sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision."

The US Congress passed CAATSA last summer in response to allegations that Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump signed it into law on August 2. Starting from January 29, Washington began imposing new sanctions under CAATSA regarding significant transactions with Russian defense sectors.

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