Moscow, Ankara may discuss fighter aircraft deal, says Russian deputy PM

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov has said Moscow would consider signing an agreement for the sale of fighter aircraft to Turkey.

The Russian Deputy Minister signalled a possible deal between the countries when responding to a question on whether Russia and Turkey could sign an agreement for combat aircraft, Euronews Turkish reported on Wednesday.

“Why not? As can be seen, a precedent has already come to fruition,” Euronews quoted Borisov as saying, in an apparent reference to the S-400 missile system.

Borisov’s statement arrives as Turkey is taking delivery of the advanced Russian missile defence system, in a move expected trigger U.S. sanctions and Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 fighter jet programme.

The U.S. officials say the S-400 missile system is incompatible with the defences of NATO, of which Turkey is a member, and jeopardise sensitive information about F-35 technologies.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the United States is not going to sell F-35 fighter jets to Turkey following Ankara’s decision to acquire the S-400 system from Russia.

Ankara has ordered more than 100 F-35s, Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, adding that the United States could not sell billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft to Turkey due to the S-400 purchase.

Turkey has in the past said it would turn elsewhere if faced with expulsion from the F-35 programme

“There are (Russian) Su-34, Su-57 and others. I will absolutely meet my needs from somewhere until I can produce it myself,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in April.