The US believes that the issue of Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 SAMS remains the primary irritant in relations between Washington and Ankara, said the US special representative for Syria and one of the leading us diplomats on ties with Turkey, James Jeffrey.
“The S-400 is a huge issue. This is an exceptionally complex issue because it concerns the largest investment in defense of the United States and its allies since World War II — the F-35 fighter jet. Turkey’s actions undermine the potential of this fighter,” Jeffrey said, speaking at a Hudson Institute event.
“The two sides are at a standstill on this issue. This is the biggest problem. Otherwise, we get along quite well with Turkey on most issues, including Libya, NATO, the Caucasus-black sea region, Syria and Iraq,” Jeffrey said.
Deliveries of the latest Russian S-400 air defense systems, which caused a crisis in Turkey’s relations with the United States, began in mid-July 2019. Washington demanded to abandon the deal and instead purchase American patriot complexes, threatening to delay or cancel the sale of the latest F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, as well as impose sanctions under CAATSA (the law “On countering America’s adversaries through sanctions”). Ankara refused to make concessions and continued negotiations on an additional batch of S-400.