No chance Turkey will have F-35s and S-400 missile system -- U.S. Senator

The United States will impose sanctions on Turkey and freeze the delivery of American-made F-35 fighter jets if the country proceeds with its planned acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defence system, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez said.

“There is no chance that they will have the F-35s. There will be sanctions under law that exists today,” Menendez told Greek news site Kathimerini in an interview published on Monday. “There is no way that we will have ... an F-35 put next to an S-400 that could also really surveillance the very essence of the technology that we have in the F-35. So it is impossible.”

The S-400 system is expected to arrive in Turkey in the next few months and be operational by October. The United States and its NATO allies see it as incompatible with NATO systems and posing a security threat to the F-35 stealth fighter.

Earlier this month, Menendez and fellow senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill that included increased defence support for Turkey’s neighbours and would halt the delivery of 100 F-35s ordered by Turkey if it completes its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system.

Menendez, who met with the Cypriot president in Nicosia last week, said the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, which also includes the lifting of a U.S. arms embargo on Cyprus, underscored that the United States recognises the importance of the countries involved, Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

In regards to Turkey’s S-400 purchase, Menendez added that the United States would do whatever it takes to protect national security, including possibly moving its military bases from Turkey to Greece.