05:55 GMT30 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States calls on Turkey to pull back its S-400 air defence system and assist in the security of NATO's southern flank, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview on Friday.

    "It’s unfortunate what they’ve chosen to do by purchasing the S-400 weapons system. We urge them to reconsider that and to pull it back", Pompeo said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. "We need Turkey to be a good NATO partner to assist in the security of NATO’s southern flank."

    On Wednesday, the Sputnik Turkey news agency reported that Ankara had deployed S-400 air defence systems to the Black Sea province of Samsun. The Turkish authorities have not made any official statements on this yet.

    A State Department spokesperson revealed on Thursday that the United States was aware of these reports and is deeply concerned, adding that the S-400 transaction puts Turkey at risk for potential sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

    Since 2018, the United States has introduced a number of measures to pressure the Turkish government into cancelling the S-400 purchase, including removing Turkey from the F-35 aircraft supply chain despite the added costs to the program. The United States has proposed buying the S-400s from Ankara in a bid to break the deadlock. Washington has claimed the S-400 is incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise the operations of the F-35 jets.

    Turkey has repeatedly vowed to activate the missile systems, delivered by Russia last summer, despite the US threats of sanctions.

    Tags:
    NATO, Turkey, United States
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