TEHRAN Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will study a possibility of purchase of Russia's Su-35 fighter jets, according to a Turkish military source.
"It is still premature to talk about Turkey's purchase of Russian Su-35 fighters. Our president will assess this important topic. He will also make a statement", the source stated, RIA Novosti reported.
Earlier in the day, Russia's Rostec state corporation CEO Sergey Chemezov said that Moscow was ready to deliver Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey if the latter expressed such a desire.
On Wednesday, the United States announced that Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense systems had made it impossible to keep Ankara in the F-35 fighter jet program. Washington subsequently added it was working to unwind its relationship with Turkey in the F-35 program. The Turkish Foreign Ministry called the move a unilateral step that might bring irreparable damage to bilateral relations.
Moscow and Ankara inked a $2.5-billion loan agreement for the delivery of S-400s in December 2017. Washington condemned Turkey's cooperation with Russia voicing concerns over the systems' incompatibility with NATO's air defense weapons.
The Pentagon went on to announce in June that it would not accept more Turkish pilots for F-35 training unless Ankara abandons the agreement with Russia, but it has refused to meet the US requirements and said that it was a done deal.
Turkey's removal from the F-35 fighter jet program would also have adverse effects on NATO's power, particularly on its Southern flank, the country's defense minister said on Thursday.
Expecting from the US to avoid steps that could harm relations of two countries is most natural right of Turkey as a strategic partner, Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency after inspection of troops deployed along the country's border with Syria.
Unilateral and unfair decision to try to remove Turkey from F-35 project is not based on legitimate justification.
Source: Fars News Agency