US President Donald Trump blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for the current standoff between Washington and Ankara over defence procurement.
Turkey is bracing to receive the S-400 Russian air defence system in the first half of July, which Washington has made clear is mutually exclusive to Ankara’s order of 100 F35 Jet fighters.
During the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, President Trump affirmed Washington’s position but blamed the Obama administration for refusing Turkey a US Patriot missile system. Turkey has been “treated very unfairly,” said President Trump, without making any reference to Ankara’s demands for joint production of the system.
The Pentagon has begun taking steps to exclude Turkey from producing and buying F-35s as tuning the Russian defence system to recognize the F35s could compromise the stealth quality of the fighter.
Meanwhile, Washington is also threatening Turkey with congressional sanctions, amid a severe economic crisis in Turkey. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Osaka that he was personally reassured by President Trump that there would be no sanctions between the two NATO “strategic allies.”