Ankara should abandon Russian missile systems, a Pentagon deputy candidate said

WASHINGTON, (BM) – James Anderson, whose candidacy for the post of US Deputy Secretary of Defense for Political Affairs will be considered in the Senate on Thursday, outlined his position on S-400 deliveries to Turkey: “Ankara should abandon Russian missile systems”, he said, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

“The Ministry of Defense continues to work with Turkey to strengthen our alliance and hopes that Russia’s actions in Idlib will encourage Turkey to change their approach regarding the purchase of S-400 systems,” Anderson’s written statement on the website of the Senate Committee on Armed Forces says. It is quoted by RIA Novosti.

According to him, Russia violated the ceasefire agreement of March 5, supporting the operation of the Syrian armed forces in the north-east of the country.

“We welcome any reduction in the level of violence in Syria, but we have no illusions that the Syrian regime and Russia intend to abide by the ceasefire of March 5,” the statement reads.

He notes that the US is also concerned about the actions of terrorist groups in Idlib, especially the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

“The United States continues to call for a diplomatic solution for the end of the conflict in Syria, based on a reliable and negotiated political settlement in the spirit of UN Security Council resolution 2254,” the testimony said.

On March 5, negotiations between the leaders of Russia and Turkey took place in connection with the aggravation of the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib. Following the meeting, a joint document was adopted.

The parties reaffirmed their commitment to the “Astana format” and announced the introduction of a ceasefire regime from midnight on Friday. The parties agreed to jointly patrol the important M4 highway, which is now under the control of militants.

Deliveries of the latest Russian S-400 air defense systems, which caused a crisis in relations between Turkey and the United States, began in mid-July 2019. Washington demanded a refusal of the deal and in exchange to acquire the American Patriot systems, threatening to delay or even cancel the sale of the latest F-35 fighters to Turkey, as well as impose sanctions in accordance with CAATSA. Ankara refused to make concessions and continued negotiations on an additional S-400 batch.

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