Venezuelan officials say they are considering buying fighter jets from Russia, days after Washington banned arms sales to the South American nation.

In an interview with Russian media Friday, Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia Alexis Navarro Rojas said Caracas may purchase Russian Su-35s to replace its fleet of American F-16s.

Negotiations are expected to begin in the coming weeks.

If completed, the deal would be the latest in a string of Venezuelan military purchases from Moscow. Caracas recently bought 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles from Russia, and already has received several Russian-made helicopters.

Washington this week banned arms sales to Venezuela because of its alleged intelligence links to Iran and Cuba. Caracas responded, saying it would consider selling its U.S.-made F-16s to other countries, including Iran.

Citing sales agreements, U.S. officials said Washington would not allow such a resale.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.