Posted on July 18, 2019
The US says the “F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities”. Russia began delivering its advanced S-400 system to Turkey last week.
Turkey and the US are key Nato allies – but Ankara has also been establishing closer links with Russia. Turkey has so far not publicly reacted to the latest US move, which was widely expected. In a statement on Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said: “Unfortunately, Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.
“The United States has been actively working with Turkey to provide air defence solutions to meet its legitimate air defence needs, and this administration has made multiple offers to move Turkey to the front of the line to receive the US Patriot air defence system.
“Turkey has been a longstanding and trusted partner and Nato ally for over 65 years, but accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all Nato allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems.”
At the same time Ms Grisham stressed that “the United States still greatly values our strategic relationship with Turkey.
“As Nato allies, our relationship is multi-layered, and not solely focused on the F-35,” she said.