The United States could spend $30 million to store the F-35 stealth fighter jets meant for Turkey until an alternative use for them is found.
On Tuesday, US Congress approved defense budget for 2020, under which the Congress gave the defense secretary discretion to spend up to $30 million to store the fifth-generation jets until a plan for their use was formalized.
Ankara was denied F-35 following its $2.5 billion S-400 deal with Russia. Washington views this as a threat to its military hardware, since the air defense system requires "sensitive" information of friendly aircraft to be stored in order for it to be identified as friend or foe.
Both Democrats and Republicans have stated that Ankara’s purchase could entail sanctions under the Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act.
Turkey has already said that it will look at other options if the F-35 stealth jet was denied to them. "If the US fails to supply the F-35 to us, Russia may offer its alternative to US aircraft," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by A Haber TV channel on Wednesday.