Amid high tensions between Ankara and Washington over Russian-made S-400 air defence systems, the US State Department has announced the possible sale of Patriot missile system to Turkey.

A source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that the S-400 systems would be used independently of NATO systems, adding that the purchase of the Russian-made systems would not affect the F-35 jet deal.

“The S-400 will be used […]in such a way so as not to cause damage to the F-35 fighters or disclose sensitive information related to the jets,” the source said.

The source also didn’t confirm Bloomberg’s report, which said that Ankara was ready to hand over the S-400s to US technicians for research.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later said in a comment on the report that the Moscow-Ankara deal stipulates Turkey’s non-disclosure of certain data.

The Bloomberg report came on the heels of an announcement that the US had approved a potential $3.5 billion sale of Patriot air and missile defence systems to Turkey.

The proposed agreement includes up to 140 Patriot missiles, radar and ground control stations, and must be approved by Congress.

Russia and Turkey inked a loan agreement for the supply of S-400 air defence systems to Ankara last year.

The deal triggered disagreement between Ankara and Washington, with the latter threatening to impose sanctions against Turkey, as the United States believes that the weapon is incompatible with NATO’s defences.

Despite pressure from Washington, Ankara has on multiple occasions warned it against freezing F-35 deliveries, and threatened to take retaliatory measures.

 

Source: Sputnik

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