Pompeo: With S-400, Turkey won’t get F-35, may get sanctions

Is Turkey going too far with the S-400 deal?

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers Tuesday that if NATO ally Turkey acquires the Russian S-400 air defense system, it will not receive the F-35 fighter jet, and he left the door open for sanctions.

“I have communicated that to them both privately, and I will do so again right here,” Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

When Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., pressed Pompeo on whether the $2.5 billion sale would meet the “significant transaction” threshold to trigger the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, Pompeo suggested the answer was “yes” but stopped short.

“If I can avoid making a legal conclusion, that’s a very significant transaction”, Pompeo said.

The comments came the same day a group of U.S. lawmakers threatened to pass legislation that would bar Turkey from buying the F-35 if it buys the S-400, expressing fears their integration would enable Russia to learn how the stealthy F-35 operates.

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