In gratitude for Erdogan's support to Putin: the U.S. has unblocked the sale of F-16s to Turkey
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has approved the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey for $23 billion. Notably, the decision was made immediately after Ankara ratified Sweden's membership in NATO.
According to preliminary data, the deal includes the sale of 40 new F-16s and equipment for the modernization of 79 existing F-16s for Turkey. This was reported by The Washington Post.
U.S. officials noted that this step is an important event in the expansion of the alliance, which has gained additional importance after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Interestingly, Turkey has long sought to upgrade its F-16 fleet and has made the ratification of Sweden's membership contingent on approval of the sale of new aircraft.
In turn, the Biden administration has supported the sale, but several congressmen have raised objections over human rights concerns. According to officials, these objections, including those of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Ben Cardin and Idaho Republican Jim Risch, have now been overcome.
Cardin said in a statement on Friday that he still had concerns about Turkey's human rights record but agreed to the sale based on commitments made by Turkey to improve it.
"I look forward to beginning this new chapter in our relationship with Turkey, expanding the NATO alliance, and working with our global allies to confront Russia's ongoing aggression against its peaceful neighbors," the senator said.
At the same time, the U.S. State Department announced the sale of modern F-35 fighter jets to Greece for $8.6 billion. The deal includes 40 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment.
As a reminder, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has officially approved Turkey's ratification of Sweden's membership in NATO. Thus, the process of Ankara's approval of the Scandinavian kingdom's membership in the Alliance is officially completed.
As OBOZ.UA reported, on January 23, the Turkish parliament approved Sweden's application for NATO membership. Out of 346 votes in the Turkish parliament, 287 were in favor of Sweden's membership in NATO, 55 were against, and the rest abstained.