President Donald Trump should impose sanctions on Turkey after the NATO country received the first shipment of the Russian S-400 missile defence system, the leadership of the US Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees said in a joint press release on Friday, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
"We urge President Trump to fully implement sanctions as required by law under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. Additionally, while all F-35 material deliveries remain indefinitely suspended, we call on the Department of Defense to proceed with the termination of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program," the release said.
The bipartisan group of senators said that by accepting delivery of the S-400 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has chosen a "perilous partnership" with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the expense of Turkey's security, economic prosperity and the integrity of the NATO alliance.
Earlier in the day, the Pentagon said it will hold a press briefing on Friday afternoon to discuss Turkey's acceptance of Russian S-400 air defence systems, a spokesperson told Sputnik on Friday.
Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that US President Trump told him that Washington would not impose sanctions on Ankara over its S-400 deal with Russia.
Earlier on Friday, Turkey's Defence Ministry said in a statement that Ankara received the first batch of components for the S-400 air defence systems.
Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 systems in December 2017. Turkey's cooperation with Russia on the matter has been strongly criticized by NATO and the United States, which have cited security concerns over the S-400s incompatibility with NATO's air defence systems.
The United States claims that S-400 systems may compromise the F-35 stealth jet project. Washington said in June it would not accept more Turkish pilots for F-35 training unless it abandoned the agreement with Russia. Turkey refused, saying it was a done deal.
The S-400 is Russia's most advanced mobile air defence system. It is capable of detecting, tracking and destroying all categories of manned aircraft (including stealth), as well as drones, cruise and ballistic missiles.