WASHINGTON, July 17 (KUNA) -- The White House affirmed Wednesday that Turkey's decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement in the F-35 program "impossible."
The White House said in a statement "unfortunately, Turkey's decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible."
It stressed "the F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities."
It affirmed that the US has been "actively working with Turkey to provide air defense solutions to meet its legitimate air defense needs, and this Administration has made multiple offers to move Turkey to the front of the line to receive the US PATRIOT air defense system."
"Turkey has been a longstanding and trusted partner and NATO Ally for over 65 years, but accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all NATO Allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems," it noted.
"This will have detrimental impacts on Turkish interoperability with the Alliance."
It added that the US "still greatly values our strategic relationship with Turkey. As NATO Allies, our relationship is multi-layered, and not solely focused on the F-35."
"Our military-to-military relationship is strong, and we will continue to cooperate with Turkey extensively, mindful of constraints due to the presence of the S-400 system in Turkey," it affirmed. (end)