Turkish and Russian leaders are going to discuss a possible purchase of fifth-generation fighter jets Su-57 and 4++ generation fighter jets Su-35 in the sidelines of a trilateral summit on Syria.
Mark Esper also stressed that the US will “consider” Turkey rejoining to the F-35 programme if Ankara gets rid of the S-400 system and “take them completely out of the country.”
Purchase of Russian S-400s aerial defence system was an urgent need and Turkey had to buy them, foreign minister says.
Ankara and Moscow are discussing the deliveries of Russian-made fighter jets to Turkey.
Secret Israeli lobbying stoked tensions between Turkey and US over F-35 fighter jets and Russian S-400 missiles, Israeli Channel 12 reports.
NATO welcomes Turkey's dialogue with the US on "possibility of buying Patriot batteries," says NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
The EU and US are misinterpreting Turkey’s actions as a whim of President Erdogan, but buying the S-400 missile defence system and drilling for oil in the eastern Mediterranean are supported across the political spectrum.
Trump's comments are the latest expressing the president's reluctance to impose penalties on Turkey for acquiring the S-400.
President Erdogan says Turkey may re-evaluate its procurement of the aircraft from the US following Ankara's suspension from F-35 fighter jet project.
"There could be more sanctions to follow, but frankly, what we’d really like is the S-400 not to become operational," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Bloomberg in an interview.
"There’s no timetable on the president making a decision with the consultation of the secretary, and I want to give the president and the secretary the space to do that," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
The first shipment of Russia's S-400 defence missile system to Turkey has now been completed, officials say.
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