ANKARA – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan this week flagged potential further cooperation with Russia on defence industry projects including fighter jets and submarines even as the United States warned it could respond with more sanctions.
Turkey received the first deliveries of the S-400 surface-to-air systems in July 2019, prompting Washington to begin removing the NATO ally from its F-35 stealth fighter program over security concerns.
The following timeline presents the main developments in the program and Ankara’s relations with the United States.
Nov. 12, 2020 – Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says Turkey is ready to discuss U.S. concerns about the technical compatibility of Russian S-400 defence systems and U.S.-made F-35 jets, renewing Ankara’s call for a joint working group with Washington on the issue.
March 24, 2021 – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, urges Ankara to drop the S-400 system. In the same meeting, Cavusoglu told his U.S. counterpart that its purchase was “a done deal.”
July 21, 2021 – U.S. President Joe Biden is committed to maintaining sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for buying Russian missile defences and would impose further sanctions if Ankara bought further major arms systems from Moscow, according to a senior U.S. diplomat.
Aug. 23, 2021 – The Interfax new agency reports the head of Russia’s arms exporter as saying Russia and Turkey were close to signing a new contract to supply Ankara with more S-400s in the near future.
Sept. 26, 2021 – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey still intends to buy a second batch of missile defence systems from Russia.
Sept. 30, 2021 – Turkey is considering more joint defence industry programs with Russia including fighter jets and submarines, President Erdogan says after talks with President Vladimir Putin. Erdogan did not mention further S-400 purchases or U.S. sanctions, but said “Turkey would not back down.”