Lira weakens after Erdoğan says stance on S-400s remains unchanged

Turkey's lira has weakened after Erdoğan reiterated Ankara's stance on the S-400 missile defense systems, Bloomberg reported. The Turkish currency fell 0.9% to 8.55 per dollar as of 11:20 p.m. in Istanbul.

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Turkey’s lira extended losses against the dollar after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his nation’s stance remains unchanged on the S-400 missile-defense system it purchased from Russia, Bloomberg reported on June 15. 

The remarks, coming directly after Erdoğan met with U.S. President Joe Biden on the margins of a NATO summit in Brussels on June 14, dashed hopes for a breakthrough on a key issue that’s strained ties between the two countries, which have the two largest armies in the transatlantic alliance.

"At a meeting held in this location, it is not possible for the S-400s not to be brought up," Erdoğan said. "Whatever our previous thoughts were on the S-400s, I conveyed those same thoughts to President Biden."

Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missiles has rattled NATO allies and resulted in U.S. sanctions, with the U.S. saying the system could be used to gather intelligence and endanger the U.S.’s F-35 stealth warplanes. Washington has repeatedly said Turkey should abandon the missiles for sanctions to be lifted.

The Turkish currency fell 0.9% to 8.55 per dollar as of 11:20 p.m. in Istanbul.

Erdoğan on June 14 said that they discussed Ankara's purchase of the S-400s and the F-35 jet programme with Biden. He also said that the meeting was positive for the future and that the U.S. President told him he might come to Turkey. 

"We see that there is a strong will to start an efficient cooperation period based on mutual respect in every area," Erdoğan said.

"We think that there are no problems in Turkey-U.S. ties that don't have a solution and that, to the contrary, our areas of cooperation outweigh our problems and look richer."

Later on June 14, Biden said that he held "positive and productive" talks with Erdoğan and that teams from the two countries would now work on nailing down the detail of what the two agreed on.

"I am confident we'll make real progress" in ties, Biden said.