Russia says it is completing contract for second batch of S-400s to Turkey
The head of Russia's main arms export agency announced that Moscow was in the process of completing consultations for a contract to deliver a second batch of S-400 missiles to Turkey, TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.
Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheyev told reporters at the MAKS-2021 air show that Russia expects to finish the project in the coming months.
"Final consultations are underway, a financial model has been put together, as well as a program for technical cooperation on the project," Mikheyev added.
Turkey's purchase of the S-400 in 2017 seriously ruptured it's relationship with the United States, who considers the purchase a grave risk to NATO's defences and interoperability.
Following the first delivery of the system in July 2019, Washington expelled Turkey from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program under which Turkish companies received large contracts to supply components for the jet. Turkey's air force also lost out on acquiring the 100 F-35s it was promised and has now shifted its priority to building its own fifth generation fighter jet.
In December 2020, the Trump administration slapped sanctions on executives in Turkey's defence industry and the Biden administration has maintained its opposition to the continued presence of the S-400 on NATO's southern flank.
Russia has criticised the U.S insistence that Turkey abandon the system and its sanctions over its sale. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised Turkey's refusal to abandon the S-400 in a recent meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Moscow last month.
"We highly appreciated the principled position of Turkey on the development of military cooperation, including the intention of our Turkish friends to use the first regiment of the S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system to ensure their own security", Lavrov said.