The US envoy to NATO has sent another warning to Turkey over its purchase of an S-400 air defense system from Russia, reiterating that Ankara would be axed from the F-35 fighter jet program if it goes ahead its plans, The Associated Press reported.
Speaking Tuesday on the eve of NATO talks in Brussels, US Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison said that “there will be a disassociation with the F-35” if Turkey buys the Russian system, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to do.
“We cannot have the F-35 in any way affected by, or destabilized by, having this Russian system,” she added.
Earlier in June, she said Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile system could help the Kremlin in its bid to weaken NATO, according to CNBC.
President Erdoğan on Tuesday reiterated that Turkey would receive the Russian missiles starting from July, noting that it was a matter of sovereignty for the country.
The US and other NATO allies have repeatedly complained about the purchase, saying the S-400 is not compatible with other allied systems and represents a security threat.
But Hutchison says Turkey does not appear ready “to retract on the sale.”