Russia and Turkey are completing their negotiations on a contract for the delivery of a second batch of Russia’s S-400 air defense system units, according to a statement from Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned arms exporter.
“Final consultations are being held, a financial model was formed, a program of technological cooperation in this project was formed, so we expect to complete this project in the coming months,” Rosoboronexport director Alexander Mikheev told reporters at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021.
Despite warnings from the United States and other NATO allies, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan brokered a deal worth $2.5 billion with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the S-400 missile system in 2017.
Despite Washington’s warnings and threats of US sanctions, Turkey started taking delivery of the first S-400s in July 2019. In response, Washington removed Turkey from the F-35 program, in which Ankara was a manufacturer and buyer.
The S-400, a mobile surface-to-air missile system, is said to pose a risk to the NATO alliance as well as the F-35, America’s most expensive weapons platform.
Washington imposed sanctions in December on Turkey’s military procurement agency as punishment for its purchase of the Russian-made missile defense system under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which mandates penalties for transactions deemed harmful to US interests.
Turkey’s Presidency of the Defense Industry (SSB), its chief İsmail Demir and three other officials were targeted by the sanctions, which include a ban on all US export licenses and authorizations to SSB as well as asset freezes and visa restrictions on Demir and the other individuals.
The US had also previously removed Turkey from its F-35 stealth fighter development and training program over the S-400 purchase.
Washington still hopes to persuade its ally to “walk away” from the Russian systems.