US President Donald Trump claimed that Turkey will not receive the F-35 because it accepted shipments of Russian S-400 air defense system, reported The Moscow Times.
President Trump held a meeting in the White House where he stated: “We are now telling Turkey that ‘because you have really been forced to buy another missile system, we are not going to sell you the F-35 fighter jets’.”
“It is a very tough situation that they are in, and it’s a tough situation that we have been placed in, the United States.”
Turkey started receiving shipments last Friday, and it was the first and the clearest statement by President Trump since last week.
He is also considering imposing new economic sanctions against Turkey.
Earlier Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he did not believe that Trump would impose any sanctions over the S-400 deal. “I don’t believe Mr. Trump thinks the same as others under his management,” he said.
“He has said this loud and clear to his friends in front of the whole world media during the last meeting we had in Osaka.”
Former US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan warned Turkey back in June and said that in case Turkey proceeds with the S-400 deal, it would be thrown out of the F-35 program. In a letter to Hulusi Akar, Turkish Minister of Defense, Shanahan wrote that “in addition to threatening the security of platforms like the F-35, Turkey’s procurement of the S-400 will hinder your nation’s ability to enhance or maintain cooperation with the United States and within NATO, lead to Turkish strategic and economic over-dependence on Russia, and undermine Turkey’s very capable defense industry and ambitious economic development goals.”
In his comments made Tuesday, Trump also said that the US-Turkish relations were very good. “Turkey is very good with us, very good,” he said.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website