00:31 GMT +323 November 2019
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    Military vehicles and equipment, parts of the S-400 air defense systems, are unloaded from a Russian transport aircraft, at Murted military airport in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, July 12, 2019

    US State Dept Urges Turkey to Reconsider Receipt of Russia's S-400 Air Defence System

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States continues to call on Turkey to reconsider the receipt of the Russian S-400 air defence system, a Department of State spokesperson said Monday.

    “We urge Turkey to reconsider their receipt of the S-400. We have been clear that Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 is not in keeping with our shared commitments as NATO allies”, the State Department spokesperson said. "We have taken tangible steps in response to Turkey’s receipt of the system by suspending Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program".

    The news comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Turkey during an interview on Thursday to not make the S-400 air defence system operational.

    The State Department spokesperson acknowledged the United States understands the delivery of the S-400 system to Turkey is ongoing.

    “It’s important to recall that US sanctions against China pursuant to CAATSA [Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] were implemented several months after China took delivery of the S-400", the State Department spokesperson said. "We do not comment on internal deliberations prior to a decision. We remain committed to our strategic relationship with Turkey".

    On Thursday, Russia completed the first stage of shipments containing the S-400 air defence system’s components. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the S-400 system would become fully operational by April 2020. Russia and Turkey had signed an agreement for the delivery of four S-400 batteries in December 2017.

    The White House said in a statement on 17 July that the purchase of the S-400 system had made it impossible to keep Turkey in the F-35 fighter jet program.

    US Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition Ellen Lord told reporters last week that the Defence Department would unwind Turkey from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program by March 2020. Lord also said the United States will spend up to $600 million in non-recurring engineering to shift the supply chain for the F-35 jet.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry called the US to move a unilateral step that may bring irreparable damage to bilateral relations.

    The United States and NATO member states criticized the agreement and expressed concerns over the S-400 system’s incompatibility with NATO's air and missile defence systems.

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    Russia, S-400, State Department, Turkey, United States
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