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Turkey exerts its own leverage in F-35 jet standoff with US

The latest meeting between Russian and Turkish leaders in Moscow indicates Ankara is poised to escalate tensions by rebuffing US threats over F-35 jets.

Turkey appears determined to counter US warnings against purchasing Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile-defense system, despite growing threats from Washington.

If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan buys Russia's missile-defense product, Washington won't sell Ankara the F-35 jets Erdogan wants. But Ankara has two means of leverage at hand: First, it can look for an alternative to the F-35s; and second, it can scare up some hysteria by allowing a Russian naval presence on its Mediterranean coast.

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