The Diplomat – Turkey is considering a U.S. request to delay the purchase of a Russian missile-defense system into 2020, a move that could ease tensions between the NATO allies, according to two people familiar with the proposal.
The Trump administration last week asked Ankara to postpone receiving the S-400 batteries which was set for July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive negotiations.
A delay would buy Turkey and the U.S. — which have the two largest militaries in the NATO alliance — more time to resolve an impasse that has strained relations and threatened to result in more sanctions on Turkey’s battered economy. The U.S. says the Russian missile system was designed to shoot down American and allied aircraft, including the F-35, which Turkish manufacturers help build.
The U.S. request comes as Turkish and U.S. officials are in talks to determine a date for a possible trip by President Donald Trump to Turkey. Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who’s also Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, told CNN-Turk television on Sunday that the U.S. leader may visit in July.