July 25, 2019 / 10:04 AM / 23 days ago

Turkey's removal from F-35 programme not finalised; refund unclear: officials

FILE PHOTO: A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt/File Photo

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s removal from the F-35 jet programme is not finalised and Ankara only remains suspended for now, Turkish military officials said on Thursday, adding that it was unclear whether Turkey would be refunded for its investments in the project.

The United States said last week that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 programme, a move long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of the advanced Russian S-400 missile defense system.

After the U.S. decision, Russian state corporation Rostec said Russia would be ready to supply its SU-35 jets to Turkey if Ankara demanded them. But the Turkish officials said on Thursday that there were no talks with Moscow on procuring alternatives to the F-35 jets for now.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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