Sunday, July 2, 2017

Russia-Turkey S-400 Deal to Take On Western Policy of 'Chaos' in Middle East

The contract on the delivery of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems to Turkey has been agreed, but there is still no decision on a loan Moscow can provide to Ankara for the purchase, said Vladimir Kozhin, Russian presidential adviser on military and technical cooperation.

The negotiations on possible deliveries of S-400 systems to Turkey have been underway since 2016. In March 2017, CEO of Rostec Corporation Sergey Chemezov said Ankara was ready to buy the S-400 systems with a loan granted by Moscow.

On April 28, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Moscow and Ankara had reached an agreement on the purchase of the S-400 air defense systems with the negotiations on joint production and prices being underway, Sputnik reported.

The issue was also discussed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Sochi in early May.

In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Erdogan Karakus retired Lt. Gen. of the Turkish Air Force and chairman of the Turkish Union of Retired Officers, expressed confidence that Moscow and Ankara will not have difficulties negotiating the loan.

He also pointed to the fact that the purchase of S-400 systems is very important for the Turkish military.

"The Russian missile defense systems are expected to replace the Nike system which has been in service in NATO countries since the 1960s. This modernization is important because the current missile defense systems cannot comply with Turkey’s security needs. The fact that Turkey is a NATO member will not hinder the deal," Karakuş said.

At the same time, he noted, Turkey will need even more air defense and missile defense systems and Ankara will make "new deals in accordance with the current balance of power in the international arena."

Togrul Ismayil, an expert at the TOBB University of Economics and Technology, suggested that NATO should not be concerned over the deal on S-400 deliveries between Russia and Turkey.

  • "Turkey has long been deprived of high-altitude missile defense systems. This poses a threat for Turkey’s security. Other regional powers, including Armenia and Azerbaijan, have S-400 systems. Such NATO members, as Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary, have earlier modifications of the S-400. The allegations that by selling missile defenses to Turkey Russia will have access to NATO’s intelligence data are groundless. Instead, NATO should not be worried because the deal will boost Turkey’s defense capability, hence the military capability of the alliance," Ismayil said.

He suggested that NATO has been concerned because the United States wants to sell its Patriot missile defense systems to Turkey...

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