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01:09 PM, March 22, 2018
US Arm-twisting Turkey to Abandon Russian S-400 Deal, Buy Patriots Instead
US Arm-twisting Turkey to Abandon Russian S-400 Deal, Buy Patriots Instead

The United States will begin a high pressure lobbying and arm-twisting effort to force Turkey to abandon the S-400 missile defence system deal with Russia and buy US-made Patriots instead.

Acting assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs Tina Kaidanow is expected to travel to Turkey next week to swing Ankara's decision in favor of the US Patriot missile defence system, Turkey's Sabah newspaper has reported.

The expected visit comes amidst a group of US Senators writing to the State Department demanding sanctions against Russia and Turkey if they went ahead with the S-400 deal. The action was demanded as per the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a controversial legislation which President Trump signed into law recently. 

According to the source, the Trump administration has high hopes over Kaidanow visit, with Washington seeing arms sales as a component of its foreign policy.

Russia and Turkey reached a $2.5 billion agreement on the sale of S-400s in 2017, with the first batch expected to be shipped in late 2019.

NATO officials have claimed that the S-400 system is not compatible with the alliance's existing air defenses. Ankara, however, has countered this suggesting by pointing to Greece's complement of S-300s, which Athens bought in 1999.

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