Turkey may conclude a contract with Russia for the supply of an additional batch of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems. This was stated by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at the XIV International Strategic Forum in the Slovenian city of Bled. According to him, this will happen if Ankara does not manage to agree with Washington on the purchase of Patriot complexes.
“Today we need more systems until we can produce our own. And if we can buy from the USA, we will buy Patriot. If not, then we will buy another S-400. We are an independent country, ”RIA Novosti quoted the minister as saying.
Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Minister pointed out that Russian air defense systems are “more advanced” than their American counterparts.
Recall that in 2017 Moscow and Ankara concluded an agreement on the purchase by Turkey of four S-400 divisions for $ 2.5 billion. The first stage of deliveries began on July 12, 2019 and ended on July 25. System components were delivered to Muerth Airbase by 30 flights. The second stage started on August 27. According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara intends to begin using the S-400 in the spring of 2020.
At the same time, in the United States they express dissatisfaction with such actions of a country that is part of the NATO bloc. So, on July 20, the State Department announced that the acquisition of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems "undermines the obligations that all NATO allies have made with respect to Russian systems." Also, American diplomats emphasized that the Turkish side expects "harmful consequences". In addition, members of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee called on Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Ankara. The need for such measures is explained by the fact that "the interests of Turkey are best served by partnership with the United States, and not with the Kremlin."
Another important aspect of military-technical cooperation for Turkey is to obtain the latest combat aircraft. Ankara is participating in the program for the production of American fifth-generation fighter-bombers F-35 Lightning II. Turkish enterprises produce parts and components for this project. However, the United States is seriously considering the exclusion of the Turkish side from this project in connection with the decision of Ankara to use the S-400.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told RIA Novosti that they are not going to leave the program and will consider other options only if Washington refuses to sell Ankara F-35.
"Not. Now we are part of the F-35 program, ”the minister said, answering the question of negotiating the purchase of Su-35 and Su-57 fighters from Russia.
A similar opinion was previously expressed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to him, the point in this matter will be put after negotiations with US President Donald Trump.
“If America continues to behave in the same way, we will take care of ourselves. That is, we will evaluate: Su-35 or F-35, Su-57 or something else. When the relevant negotiations begin, we will put forward our conditions on the basis of what will be necessary for our defense sector, ”the Turkish President explained on August 30.
- Aircraft Su-57 and F-35
- © RIA News / AFP
“It will be very difficult for Turkey to maintain good relations with NATO”
Military-technical cooperation between Turkey and the United States is completely moving into the political sphere, states a military political scientist, head of the Department of Political Science and Sociology Plekhanova Andrey Koshkin. According to him, Ankara’s own and independent foreign policy line irritates Washington.
“We see a clear trend in the acquisition of our weapons. The purchase of Russian weapons is a feasible task, despite the sanctions that the United States threatens Turkey with under the American law CAATSA (“On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions.” - RT ). Erdogan made it clear that if the US continues to oppress Turkey, the republic will continue to deepen military-technical cooperation with Russia, ”the expert explained in an interview with RT.
In turn, corresponding member of the Academy of Military Sciences, Sergei Sudakov, noted that in terms of all the technical characteristics of the S-400, they are head and shoulders superior to the American Patriot system. In this regard, Turkey has no need to spend more money, he added.
“I believe that it will be very difficult for Turkey to maintain good relations with NATO countries led by the United States and at the same time with Russia. Some choice needs to be made. Now in this difficult choice, it seems to me, Turkey has decided. I say this because the presence of Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the events of MAKS-2019 very clearly demonstrated the orientation of Turkey in terms of the formation of a new military strategy through Russia. This includes not only the S-400 divisions, but also our Su-35 and Su-57 aircraft, ”the source said.