Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday showed off Russia’s latest stealth warplane to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who’s been barred from buying a new US fighter jet in a dispute with Donald Trump over the purchase of a Russian missile system.
Flanked by the Russian and Turkish defense ministers, Putin and Erdogan inspected the cockpit of the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter at the opening of the MAKS-2019 international air show outside Moscow. They also toured the Su-35 fighter, helicopter displays and an amphibious aircraft.
Welcoming his “good friend” Erdogan to the air display, Putin pitched the “technical capabilities of the latest generation of the Russian Air Forces,” which he said “will open up new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation,” according to a Kremlin transcript.
When Erdogan inquired during the tour whether the Su-57 is already available to buy, a smiling Putin replied “You can buy,” the Interfax news service reported.
Erdogan’s visit follows the US decision last month to suspend Turkey’s ability to buy and help build the advanced F-35 stealth warplane in retaliation for defying Trump and taking delivery of a Russian S-400 air-defence system. The US says the S-400 purchase is incompatible with Turkey’s role in Nato and the F-35 programme because it may allow Russia to glean information about the fighter’s advanced technology.