OREANDA-NEWSUS Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison called on Turkish authorities on Thursday to abandon the Russian S-400 air defense systems in connection with the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib. The diplomat held a briefing for journalists at the State Department. The press service of the Foreign Ministry distributed a transcript of her answers to questions from journalists.

"We did our best to explain to our ally that we want to remain in an alliance with them, that they cannot have the Russian missile defense system in the very center of their country and at the same time ensure interaction with the allies. I hope that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will understand that we are an ally of their past and future, they need to abandon the S-400", said Hutchison.

Idlib is the only region in Syria, a significant part of which remains in the hands of illegal armed groups. In 2017, the northern de-escalation zone was created there, where militants who refused to lay down their arms in the damask suburb of East Guta and the southern regions of the country moved there.