Lankford said “It’s concerning that Turkey would seek close defense cooperation with Russia, whose authoritarian ruler seeks to undermine NATO and US interests at every turn. That’s why I am glad to partner with Senators Shaheen, Van Hollen, and Tillis to introduce this bipartisan bill that sends a clear message to the Turkish government that it cannot have sensitive, state-of-the-art American military technology and Russian military technology.”
Last year, Lankford, Shaheen, and Tillis introduced a similar bill to stop the transfer of fighter aircraft to Turkey their government committed a number human rights violations, including the unjust imprisonment of an American pastor Andrew Brunson. Pastor Brunson was released in October 2018 after being detained for two years. A version of the bill was included as an amendment in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directing the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress to remove Turkey from participation in the F-35 program.