US Department of State announced that it would review the decision to sell F-35 fighter jets to Ankara in case Turkey does not abandon its plans to purchase Russian S-400 defense system.
US Department of State spokesperson Robert Palladino said, in a press briefing, "We've clearly warned Turkey that its potential acquisition of the S-400 will result in a reassessment of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program and risk other potential future arms transfers to Turkey, as well as lead to potential sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act."
The statement came after the current Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO Allied Command Operations, Curtis Scaparrotti, called on Washington not to deliver F-35 fighter jets to Turkey unless Turkey abandons its missile purchase plan from Russia.
Turkey's President Erdoğan, states last week that the Turkish government would not step back from the purchase of S-400. "Sorry but we already made an agreement, this is done," Erdoğan said.
Meanwhile, the traffic on Patriot and S-400 purchases was reported to increase recently in Ankara. On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said negotiations for the US and the Patriot missiles had begun. Çavuşoğlu repeated that they would not give up on purchasing S-400.
US Special Envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, and the US State Department Deputy Secretary, Matthew Palmer, are visiting Turkey this week. These issues were discussed during their contacts in Ankara. The point reached in the negotiations is unknown.
Russia and Turkey had signed an agreement for the sale of S-400 missile defense system in December 2017. S-400 missiles are expected to be delivered by the end of this year. The first F-35 fighter jets, on the other hand, are expected to be delivered to Turkey on June 21.