Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has categorically rejected reports claiming Ankara suggested US technicians should study the Russian-made S-400 missile system.
"Nothing of the kind. The process of implementing the contract for the purchase of the Russian [air defence] systems S-400 is going according to the plan. Period," Akard said when asked by a Sputnik correspondent whether or not such an offer was in place.
His comments followed a Bloomberg report citing two sources familiar with the discussions as saying last week that Turkey had allegedly suggested that US technical experts delve into the S-400 systems in order to "control damage" in relations with Washington stemming from Ankara's decision to pursue the contract with Moscow.
The Russian president's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, for his part, recalled that the Russian-Turkish contract stipulates Ankara's non-disclosure of certain data.
"As a rule, Russian military and defense cooperation with other states necessarily envisages legal obligations on non-disclosure of certain categories of information, of sensitive data related to this cooperation. In this case with the Turkish side, there are such obligations as well […]. We see no reason not to trust our Turkish partners," Peskov underscored.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed that Ankara had already finalized the S-400 deal and will buy the missile systems from Russia "without any question".
The US government has repeatedly expressed concern over Turkey's decision to go on with the purchase of Russia-made missile defense systems, threatening to block the delivery of F-35 fifth generation fighter jets to Ankara amid fears that sensitive technology could be compromised and used to improve Russian air defenses if Turkey acquires both.
Turkey's Anadolu news agency, in turn, cited a high-ranking source in Washington as saying that the US continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara.
Last December, Ankara signed a loan agreement with Moscow envisaging deliveries of the Russian-made S-400 air defense systems to Turkey. Sergey Chemezov, chief executive of Russia's state-owned defense company, Rostec, said some four S-400 battalion-size sets worth $2.5 billion could be supplied, with 55 percent of the contract sum being covered by Russian loans.