Biden committed to maintaining Turkey sanctions over S-400: diplomat

US President Joe Biden speaks during a joint news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in the East Room of the White House, Friday, May 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — U.S. President Joe Biden is committed to maintaining sanctions on Turkey for buying Russian S-400 missile defenses, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Wednesday.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said the U.S. would impose further sanctions if Turkey bought additional major arms systems from Moscow, according to Reuters.

Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defense systems.

Turkey rejects this, saying S-400s will not be integrated into NATO and purchasing them was a necessity as it was unable to procure air defense systems from any NATO ally on satisfactory terms.

U.S.-Turkish relations have been strained over issues ranging from Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems to policy differences on Syria, human rights and a U.S. court case targeting Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank.

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