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Washington says 'possible' Ankara will reject Russian missiles

AFP  |  Washington 

The US believes it is "possible" will decide against buying a Russian air defense system whose proposed purchase has strained relations between the allies, a top said on Thursday.

has warned for months that Turkey's adoption of the Russian missile system would endanger Western defense and jeopardize Ankara's planned purchase of 100 of the US's stealth fighter jets.

Asked on Thursday if may ultimately change its mind on the S-400, replied "it's possible." "The diplomats are continuing the work on that," she said, reiterating that the is "incompatible with having the " The US in April placed a freeze on a joint with Turkey, and US law furthermore provides for sanctions on any country concluding arms deals with Russian companies.

Two of the planes were delivered to in June 2018 but remain at a base near Phoenix, Arizona, officially so Turkish pilots can train on them.

"We're continuing to train the Turkish pilots at but we don't think that we can deliver those aircraft into a country that has the S-400," Wilson said.

says it won't reconsider purchasing the air defense system and that delivery of the first of the equipment may come as soon as June or July. But said last month that Turkey is aware of the US's concerns.

Turkish media has reported that the government is mulling not using the Russian batteries or selling them to a third party in order to resolve the dispute.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 06:40 IST