Russian S-400 anti-missile system
Russian S-400 anti-missile system Reuters

Turkey made clear on Thursday it will not turn back from its acquisition of Russian S-400 defense systems despite US sanctions, Reuters reports.

At the same time, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey would seek to resolve issues with the US through dialogue.

Turkey signed a contract with Russia in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system, raising the ire of the United States.

The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were delivered to Turkey in July of 2019. Russia then delivered a second battery of S-400s a month later.

In December, the US sanctioned Turkey for buying the S-400 Russian missile defense system on grounds it threatens its F-35 fighter jets and is incompatible with shared NATO defenses.

Since Joe Biden was elected US president, Turkey has said it wants better ties and again proposed an S-400 joint working group. Washington has repeatedly rejected that and says sanctions will remain until Turkey no longer possesses the missiles.

Kalin said on Thursday that talks were being held with Washington over disagreements, but that quick solutions to problems should not be expected.

“The United States has so far said it will not engage in any negotiations over this issue (S-400s). Turkey will not turn back from the Russian S-400 issue,” he stressed, according to Reuters, adding, “When we read the strategic picture the right way, we think we can make advances. By proposing solution ways, we will be in negotiations.”