Turkish authorities, responsible for procuring armaments, are reviewing the possibility of buying Russian Su-35 fighter jets as proposed by Rosoboronexport, the daily newspaper Yeni Safak reported. According to the newspaper, the authorities have requested the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), Turkish Air Force Command and other relevant institutions to give their evaluation about this idea.
The daily newspaper added that if the plan to buy Russian jets receives positive feedback, the formal negotiations with Russia on the matter will receive the green light to start. Turkish officials haven't commented on the report yet.
Russia's Rosoboronexport offered to sell Su-35 fighters to Ankara amid media reports that Turkey might be considering such an option due to problems with F-35 procurements from the US.
Washington suspended F-35 supplies and training programmes for Turkish pilots after Ankara refused to follow its demands to drop contracts on Russian S-400 air defence systems. The US claims that these systems can reveal the F-35's weaknesses to Russia and offered to sell Patriot missile systems to Ankara instead.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, refused to cave in to US demands, saying that Russia made a better offer for the S-400, which his country needs for national security needs. He suggested creating a working group with Washington to handle its concerns regarding the S-400s, but the US turned blind eye to the offer.
The disagreements over S-400s and F-35 marked a major rift in US-Turkish relations, with Washington threatening Ankara with sanctions and exclusion from NATO.