Wolters: US, Turkey Focused on Solving S-400 Dispute as Deadline Looms

US European Command chief Gen. Tod Wolters addresses a meeting of the NATO chiefs of defense in Brussels on May 22, 2019. YouTube screenshot.

NATO and the US are “very, very” focused on resolving the differences with Turkey as the country reportedly faces a new deadline to decide between the F-35 and Russian-made S-400 system, the head of US European Command said May 22.

USAF Gen. Tod Wolters, speaking at a meeting of the NATO chiefs of defense in Brussels, said even though both the governments of Turkey and the US have expressed their opinions on the situation, “You never know what the future will reveal.”

The US will not allow the existence of the F-35 in the vicinity of the S-400 system, said Wolters, who also is NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

The US State Department has set a deadline of the end of the first week of June to reject the S-400 system, or be removed from the F-35 program, reported CNBC on Tuesday.

Turkey plans to purchase 100 of the aircraft, and there are seven Turkish companies that produce parts for the jet.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Ellen Lord said earlier this month that removing Turkey from the program would slow deliveries of the aircraft and lead to “cost impacts.”