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Erdogan says Turkey wants to continue defense cooperation with Russia

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Turkey wants to continue cooperation with Russia in the defense industry, including warplanes, after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Erdogan made the remarks after the two leaders visited an air show outside the Russian capital, where Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets, which are not detected by radars, were on display and the Turkish leader inspected the plane.

In another move that could lead to further tension in relations with the United States, Turkey’s NATO partner, Ankara on Tuesday received a second batch of Russian S-400 air defense equipment.

“We are taking positive steps in the defense industry by taking over the S-400,” Erdogan told a news conference with Putin.

“In this, we had the opportunity during our meetings today to discuss the steps we can take in various areas within the defense industry and what we can do.”

The first batch of S-400 parts arrived in Ankara in July, despite warnings that the United States might impose sanctions for buying those systems, which Washington says are disproportionate to NATO defenses.

Washington has yet to carry out its threat, but last month began to exclude Turkey from its planned F-35 program. In response, Erdogan said Turkey would turn to other destinations for aircraft to meet its needs.

Putin said he and Erdogan discussed cooperation on the Russian Su-35 and the possibility of joint work on its new Su-57.

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