TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Ankara may purchase Russian warplanes if the United States cancels the delivery of the F-35 aircraft, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday.
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"When we bought the S-400 (missile systems), we did not ask anyone (for permission), so if we make a decision, we will purchase them," Erdogan said, when asked if Ankara could make an agreement with Moscow on the delivery of Russian fighter jets.
"If the F-35 issue is not resolved, we will take the necessary steps," the Turkish leader added.
On October 25, Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper reported that Ankara and Moscow were close to striking a deal on the delivery of 36 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters. On October 22, Heof of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said that consultations on the possible delivery of the Su-35 and the Su-57 aircraft were underway but the parties were not discussing a contract, Tass reported.
On October 29, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar rejected media reports about Ankara's plans to purchase the Su-35 planes.
Speculations about Turkey's possible purchase of Russian fighter jets were fueled by Erdogan's visit to Moscow on August 27. While visiting the MAKS-2019 air show together with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Turkish president showed interest in Sukhoi warplanes. Erdogan said later that he did not rule out purchasing the Su-35 and the Su-57 aircraft instead of the American-made F-35 fighter jets.