Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed broadening of their cooperation on S-400 missile system during a bilateral meeting held in Sochi city on Wednesday.
"They spoke about extending cooperation in the military and technical sphere as well as the maintenance and future cooperation regarding S-400 [air defense systems], and discussed a possibility of manufacturing certain components of the [S-400 system] on the territory of Turkey," Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS on Thursday.
The U.S. kicked Ankara out of the $399 billion F-35 project after the latter purchased S-400 missile systems from Russia for $2.5 billion. Sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) were imposed against Turkey in December 2020 for buying Russian-made equipment.
Washington argues the systems would allow Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the F-35 jets and is incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey however, insists that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance. Three NATO members – Greece, Slovakia and Bulgaria – are in possession of S-300 defense systems.
Alexander Mikheev, General Director of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, reportedly told Russian state media on Monday that the consultations between Turkey and Russia on a new supply of the S-400s were at the “final stage.”
American senators have now warned Turkey they would extend new sanctions if the country goes ahead with plans to purchase a new round of S-400 systems.
The office of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Chair Robert Menendez said last Wednesday that sanctions were mandated by law for “any entity that does significant business with the Russian military or intelligence sectors.”
“Any new purchases by Turkey must mean new sanctions,” Menendez said on Twitter.