01:38 GMT22 February 2020
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    Earlier, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has formally informed Turkey that it will not be allowed to buy F-35 fighter jets if it goes ahead with plans to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems.

    The United States gave Turkey time until the 31st of July to backtrack on S-400 missile deal, media report citing Pentagon.

    Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has sent a list to the Turkish defence minister describing actions that the United States will take in order to suspend Turkey’s participation in the F-35 programme by 31 July if the NATO ally goes through with its acquisition of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems.

    Earlier in the day acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan wrote in a letter to his Turkish counterpart Defense Minister Hulusi Akar that while the US seeks "to maintain our valued relationship, Turkey will not receive the F-35 if Turkey takes delivery of the S-400".

    "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", he wrote.

    READ MORE: Russia to Start Supplying Turkey with S-400 Air Defenсe Systems in 2 Months - Rostec CEO

    Washington has reportedly given Ankara a chance to either abandon the S-400 deal with Russia until the end of the first week of June or face penalties, which would include sanctions, removal from Lockheed Martin's F-35 jet program and canceling the delivery of 100 F-35 jets.

    Moscow and Ankara signed in 2017 a loan agreement for the delivery of the S-400 air defence systems to Turkey. In spite of the US threats to impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkish officials have said that purchasing of military equipment is a sovereign right and ruled out the possibility of abandoning plans to acquire the S-400 systems.


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