Turkey can produce components for the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, Russia's Presidential spokesperson said Thursday.
"We are not talking about the complete production chain, as it is a new type of weapon. But the production of some components can be organized,” Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Hurriyet Daily.
“The production can be on the territory of Turkey," he added.
According to the US, the Turkey cannot have both the American jets and Russian defense systems on grounds that it would be compromising on the security of the fighters. It has been persuading its NATO-ally Turkey to buy Raytheon's Patriot defense systems instead.
“It is not possible to both fly the F-35 in space where the S-400 is significantly operable,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
Delivery of parts and other services related to the F-35 jets to Turkey were suspended last week.
The US has also threatened to impose sanctions against Turkey if it buys the Russian systems.
“The S-400 is a significant weapons system, and we’ve shared with them, we’ve asked them to go take a look CAATSA, what that might well mean for them,” he said.
The Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, was passed in 2017 to impose sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.
A decision to drop Turkey from the F-35 program will have broad repercussions, since Ankara helps manufacture 6-7 percent of parts for the aircraft, including components of the landing gear, cockpit displays and aircraft engines. Turkey has also invested $1.25 billion in the F-35 program.
“The evaluation of stopping Turkey would be between 50- and 75-airplane impact over a two-year period,” Vice Admiral Mathias Winter said last week.
Pompeo said a deal for the American air defense system is now on the table, and that the US acknowledges Turkey’s role in the F-35 program.
“We’ve made clear to the Turks as plainly as we can, they build a significant component of the F-35. Not only are they purchasers and customers, but they are part of the supply chain for the F-35,” Pompeo said.