Turkey intent on obtaining 2nd batch of Russian S-400 air defense systems

ANKARA — In a statement, Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar indicated that Turkey has been discussing with Moscow the possibility of obtaining a 2nd batch of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

“It is difficult for my country to back down from buying the Russian system,” Akar pointed out, hoping that the Washington–Ankara dispute could be resolved through dialogue.

Last month, under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), Washington imposed sanctions on the Turkish Defense Industry Directorate and its chief officers.

According to a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the sanctions include a ban on all U.S. export licenses and authorizations to Defense Directorate (Savunma Sanayii Başkanlığı, SSB) and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on the head of the SSB and other SSB officers.

“The United States made clear to Turkey at the highest levels and on numerous occasions that its purchase of the S-400 system would endanger the security of U.S. military technology and personnel and provide substantial funds to Russia’s defense sector, as well as Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defense industry,” read the statement.

Several days ago, Washington denied a statement by the Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu claiming a joint working group was established to discuss U.S. sanctions.