Turkey's Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank has stated that his country would not hesitate to discuss with Russia regarding the purchase of Su-35 and Su-57 fighter aircraft.
“We evaluate our cooperation with countries on the basis of our own needs and mutual interests of the two countries. At the moment, the evaluations of what we need in the aviation field as a minimum and whether a need will arise in the future are based on the joint planning of our Defense Industry Presidency and our soldiers," he said in comments quoted by the Turkish edition of Sputnik News.
It is out of question that we categorically say, 'We are against the plane of country X, we are against the plane of country Y'. If there is an airplane in Russia for our current needs and it will not be difficult to put it into our system and operate it, we can of course buy this plane from Russia or another country in Europe," Varank said.
Turkey originally planned to buy U.S.-made F-35 jets. However, after it bought S-400 air defense systems (ADS) for $2.5 billion in 2017 following Washington's refusal to sell Patriots. To punish Turkey for buying Russian equipment, U.S. imposed sanctions under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) in December 2020. Turkey was also kicked out of the $399 billion F-35 project over the S-400 row besides being denied those jets.
Soon after sanctions were slapped, Ankara said it would take actions that would "hurt bilateral ties with the U.S."
Earlier, officials from Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation told Sputnik that Russia is ready to continue negotiations on the procurement of equipment to Turkey, including Su-35 and Su-57 warplanes.
Despite being denied posssession of F-35 jets meant for its Air Force, Turkey continues to produce parts and systems for the F-35, a project slated to continue until March 2022.