Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey's Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), has signalled Ankara’s readiness to buy a second batch of Russian S-400 air defence systems on condition of a technology transfer.
"We see no risks so far, as additional [US] sanctions have not been enacted. If we wanted to, we could have the second S-400 package as soon as today, but it is important for us to have joint production and technology transfer”, Demir was quoted by the CNN Turk broadcaster as saying on Monday.
He also said that the S-400 systems that were earlier delivered to Turkey "are ready for operation and will be used if necessary”.
In addition, the head of the Defence Industries Presidency singled out Turkish enterprises, which he said are continuing to work within the framework of the project to create fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets, despite Washington's previous decision to suspend their participation in this programme.
The statement comes after the US imposed sanctions in December on Demir and the SSB, as well as on three other individuals related to the Defence Industry Presidency. The sanctions banned all US exports to the SSB and froze the assets of designated persons.
Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement on the delivery of S-400 systems in December 2017, and two years later, Turkey received several S-400 batteries worth $2.5 billion.
The US has also threatened to delay or even cancel the sale of F-35 fighters to Turkey and slap sanctions on Ankara, claiming that the Russian systems are incompatible with NATO standards and raise security concerns.
Both Ankara and Moscow have dismissed the allegations and continued negotiations on an additional batch of S-400s.