WASHINGTON, July 20. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday "conveyed the United States’ disappointment" over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a readout.
"Secretary Pompeo reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to addressing Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border, while also reiterating the US Government’s obligation to ensure the protection of local partners working with the United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS [the Islamic State terrorist group banned in Russia - TASS]," she said.
"The Secretary also conveyed the United States’ disappointment over Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system," she added.
Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s press service said that the US and Turkish top diplomats discussed the issues related to Russia’s S-400 missile system and US’ F-35 fighter jets, to developments in Syria’s Manjib and Idlib and a new security zone in Syria.
The phone call was first between the two countries’ diplomats after S-400 had been shipped to Turkey, Washington had removed Ankara from the F-35 jet development program and US President Donald Trump had said that Washington was considering unilateral sanctions against Turkey.
S-400, F-35 deals
The Russian-Turkish talks on acquisition of S-400 air defense missile systems were first reported in November 2016. Russia confirmed on September 12, 2017 that the relevant contract had been signed. Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase an air defense weapon of this class from Russia. S-400 deliveries to Turkey began on July 12, 2019.
The United States does its utmost to prevent Turkey from obtaining Russia’s S-400 missile system. Washington numerously warned Ankara that it would impose anti-Turkish sanctions in case the Russian weapons were bought.
Earlier, the Pentagon informed that in order to remain in the F-35 fighter jet program, Turkey needs to drop the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems.
The S-400 ‘Triumf’ is the most advanced long-range air defense missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.