Moscow: US Decision to Bar Turkey from F-35 Programme Part of Policy to Punish for Sovereign Moves

© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko / Go to the mediabankS-400 Air Defence Systems
S-400 Air Defence Systems - Sputnik International
Washington previously stated that the Pentagon was working to unwind its ties to Turkey in the international F-35 programme following the country's move to acquire Russian S-400 air defence systems.

The move by the United States to exclude Turkey from the F-35 programme is consistent with the US policy of punishing nations for acting as sovereign entities, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.

"This is the US policy line to punish those who show the slightest signs of sovereignty, defend their own economic interests and try not to obey the dictates of Washington", Grushko told reporters, commenting on the US decision.

The White House stated earlier this week that Turkey's decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems had rendered its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.

President Trump has, meanwhile, given contradictory statements regarding the US intention to punish Ankara over purchasing Russian-made systems, failing to provide clear-cut answers to whether the US administration intends to punish Ankara over the acquisition or not.

Turkey received the first batch of S-400 system components last week. Since then, a dozen Russian aircraft have delivered parts for the Russian systems to the country.

Moscow and Ankara signed a $2.5-billion contract for the delivery of S-400 systems in December 2017. Turkey's cooperation with Russia on the matter has been strongly condemned by the United States and NATO, which have cited concerns over the S-400’s incompatibility with NATO's air defence systems.

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