President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey and Russia had agreed not to disclose details of the joint production of the S-400 defense missile systems, as the issue was “sensitive.”
Erdoğan made comments as he attended a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in the capital Ankara on Nov. 17.
Asked by a reporter which of the S-400 components will be manufactured in Turkey, Erdoğan said: “With regards to the details concerning the production of S-400 components, both sides, Turkey and Russia, have agreed not to make any statement. Therefore, we are not making such statements; these are sensitivities between us.”
On Nov. 15, Russian state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport announced that it was collaborating with Turkey for the technology transfer and local production of S-400 missile systems.
“We've started to collaborate with Turkey with regards to technology (transfer) concerning S-400s. We are localizing some components (and their production); we have started the works in this issue,” Sputnik quoted Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheyev as saying during the Dubai Airshow 2021.
The Russian official did not disclose which of the S-400 components these would be.
Erdoğan previously said that Turkey is considering buying a second Russian missile system despite strong objections by NATO ally the United States. "In the future, nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defense systems we acquire, from which country at what level," Erdoğan said during an interview in September.
The United States imposed sanctions on Turkey's Defense Industry Directorate, its chief İsmail Demir and three other employees in December following the country's acquisition of a first batch of S-400s.
Talks continued between Russia and Turkey about the delivery of a second batch, which Washington has repeatedly said would almost certainly trigger new sanctions.