A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country could sell missile systems to neighboring Turkey in light of a rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan had discussed potential arms deals during a meeting in Istanbul earlier this week.
He said Russia would consider selling various missile defense systems to Turkey in case the latter wants them.
Peskov’s comments were echoed by Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalyn, who said Ankara and Moscow are holdingdiscussions on possible cooperation in the military-technical sphere.
“An agreement on enhanced cooperation with Russia in defense industry was struck during negotiations in Istanbul. Turkey's defense industry department is currently holding talks with Russian parties over the guidelines,” Kalyn pointed out.
Commenting on Turkey’s willingness to purchase long-range missile systems from Russia, the top Turkish official said his country is in principle positive about the notion.
Turkey would sit at the negotiating table and sign an agreement for missile systems once its national security is at stake, Kalyn stated.
Late last June, Turkey and Russia put an end to seven months of strained relations, when Erdogan wrote a letter to his Russian counterpart, apologizing for the Turkish military’s downing of a Russian Su-24 during an anti-terror mission in Syrian skies near the Turkish border.
The Russian fighter jet went down in the mountainous Jabal Turkmen area of the Syrian western province of Latakia on November 24, 2015. The pilot lost his life in the crash, while Syrian government forces rescued the Russian navigator on board, who survived the crash.