US Senate's Move to Block F-35 Supplies Won't Stop Turkey From Buying S-400 – PM
11:10 19.06.2018(updated 13:27 19.06.2018)
Turkey will find alternatives after the US Senate's decision to suspend Ankara's participation in the F-35 fighter jet production program, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, after the US Senate decided to stop the jet deliveries over Ankara's intention to buy S-400s.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed Washington for "creating artificial crises is the West's style," referring to the Senate's move.
"What laws will you [the United States] apply to impose sanctions on the purchase of the S-400? This is a wrong approach; it will lead to a crisis. We have purchased the S-400 and let's stop talking about this," he stated.
"This is an unfortunate development. But Turkey will not be left without an alternative. We regret such actions taken by the US Senate; they contradict the spirit of strategic partnership."
On Monday, the US Senate passed its version of a defense policy bill for 2019, containing a clause that could remove Turkey from the F-35 production program over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 anti-missile systems.
According to the Senate's explanatory materials on the draft defense budget, the amendment to ban Ankara's purchase of F-35As is included because the Turkish authorities have detained US pastor Andrew Brunson.
In addition, the text is likely to include a call to the US administration to impose sanctions against Turkey in the event that it purchases the S-400 systems. The final wording will be worked out after both houses of the US Congress agree on their versions.
In April, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport's director general said that Russia had started manufacturing S-400 systems for Turkey.
The Russia-Turkey deal has prompted disagreements between Ankara and Washington, with the latter threatening to impose sanctions against the former, as the United States believes that the weapon is incompatible with NATO's defenses.
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