US urges Türkiye to dispose of S-400 Russian missiles

Any new dealings Türkiye has with the Russian defense industry carries the risk of additional sanctions under the federal law Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), said a US State Department spokesperson on Wednesday.

The spokesperson was responding to Greek reporters who asked about the neighboring country’s use of the Russian S-400 missile system, in the wake of Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar’s statement that Ankara intends to continue to use the system.

The US State Department’s stance on the issue – that the Russian S-400s are incompatible with NATO equipment – remains unchanged, the spokesperson stressed, adding that the missile system threatens the security of NATO technology and its use is inconsistent with Türkiye’s commitments as a NATO ally. In addition, despite Türkiye’s being an important NATO ally, the acquisition of the S-400s directly contradicts commitments made by all NATO allies at the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw to reduce dependence on Russian equipment.

The US State Department official noted that as Türkiye’s sizeable procurement of S-400s from Russia has already triggered CAATSA sanctions under US law, he urged Türkiye not to keep the S-400s.

Türkiye and all US partners and allies are also urged to avoid future purchases of weapons that provide Russia with revenue, reach and influence. Any such transactions, it was highlighted, could be subject to additional CAATSA sanctions.