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Russia, Turkey discuss sale of stealth fighter, Su-35 jet

A Russian Su-35 fighter jet takes flight. (Sergey Vladimirov/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russia and Turkey are exploring the possibility of deliveries of the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jet and Su-35 aircraft to Ankara, according to a Russian official.

Russia began delivering S-400 missile systems to Turkey this year, a move that caused tensions with Ankara’s NATO allies.

The deal was opposed by the United States, which began removing Turkey from its program for manufacturing F-35 jets that Ankara also planned to buy.

Dmitry Shugaev, the head of Russia’s Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, said he planned to discuss the S-400 missile-defense system with a Turkish colleague later on August 28, as well as “possibly deliveries of the Su-35 or Su-57.”

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“Much interest has been shown. It’s early to talk of contract negotiations. There hasn’t been an application yet. Consultations have to take place,” Russian news agencies quoted Shugaev as saying.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on August 27 that Turkey wants to continue defense industry cooperation with Russia, including on jet fighters, following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan, who attended the MAKS-2019 air show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, together with Putin, asked the Russian leader whether the Su-57 could be bought, Interfax agency reported.

“You can buy it,” Putin replied, after which the two leaders laughed, according to Interfax.