The contract for the supply of Ankara an additional batch of S-400 Triumph air defense systems will most likely be signed in 2020. This was announced on December 6 by the Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) of Russia Dmitry Shugaev.
“We are systematically working on this issue. Most importantly, there is a spirit on both sides to continue cooperation in this area, ”Shugaev said in an interview with Interfax.
Last week, the general director of Rosoboroexport, Alexander Mikheev, also spoke about the possible purchase by the Turkish side of an additional batch of S-400.
“We hope that in the first half of 2020 we will come to the signing of contract documents. But I want to emphasize that military-technical cooperation with Turkey is not limited to the supply of S-400. We have big plans ahead, ”Mikheev told RIA Novosti.
Recall that in 2017 Moscow and Ankara signed a contract for the acquisition by the Turkish side of four S-400 divisions for $ 2.5 billion. The corresponding deliveries began in July of this year. According to Rosoboronexport in early November, the Russian side fulfilled its contractual obligations ahead of schedule by supplying Turkey with all the elements of the system.
At the same time, in November, Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar announced that Ankara plans to activate air defense systems acquired from Russia.
“The S-400 will function. Currently, the personnel from the Turkish Armed Forces on the operation of the S-400 are undergoing training, at the end of which the planned activities will be carried out (on the use of the S-400. - RT ), ”Akar quoted the Turkish news agency Anadolu.
As Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, said in an interview with RT, plans to sign a new agreement indicate that the parties continue to demonstrate to the world "their readiness to form a common point of view" on a number of issues, including cooperation in the military-technical sphere.
“There is an extremely high probability that a new S-400 agreement will be signed. I’m sure Turkey will not stop at that unprecedented decision to purchase the S-400, cooperation in the military-technical sphere with Russia will continue and will deepen, ”the expert predicted.
- Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar
- © Virginia Mayo / Pool
A similar opinion is shared by political analyst Alexander Asafov. In his opinion, agreements on additional deliveries of S-400 can really be concluded next year and will be “quite feasible, since the cooperation between Russia and Turkey is becoming denser every year."
“Erdogan will remain faithful to military-technical cooperation with Russia, since it is Turkey’s main partner. In addition, the Turkish leader believes that relations with Russia do not contradict Ankara’s relations with NATO partners, including the United States, in which Russian-Turkish cooperation evokes different negative emotions, ”the analyst said.
United States Opposition
Recall that Washington has repeatedly threatened Turkey with restrictive measures in the event of the deployment of the Russian S-400 and criticized the relevant Russian-Turkish agreement. In addition, the White House previously tried to disrupt the deal. However, the Turkish authorities have repeatedly stated that they will not abandon Russian complexes, despite threats from the United States.
At the end of November, the United States Congress called for sanctions against Turkey for the acquisition of the S-400. This was stated by Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen. According to him, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan crossed the red line, deciding to start testing Russian anti-aircraft missile systems only two weeks after meeting with the American leader.
“Two weeks after his visit to the White House, Erdogan doesn’t put Trump, the USA and NATO penniless and crosses the next border allowed on the S-400 issue. Under current legislation, Trump is required to impose sanctions, ”the senator wrote on his Twitter page, commenting on reports of Triumph air defense radar tests for compatibility with US-made F-16 fighters.
Recall, November 25, Turkish media reported on the conduct of training flights F-16 to test communications with the components of the Russian Triumph. After the appearance of such information, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the "concern" of the American side regarding the actions of the Turkish military.
Earlier, the State Department demanded that Ankara "destroy, return the S-400 or in some other way get rid of them." This was stated by a senior representative of the foreign ministry in the course of communication with reporters.
In addition, do not forget that Washington threatened the Turkish side with the exception of the fifth generation F-35 fighter program. The Pentagon has already stopped training Turkish pilots on F-35 fighters, and the Senate passed a bill prohibiting the transfer of American aircraft and related technologies to Ankara. However, experts emphasize that the Turkish side “lost a little” from this - for Turkey, cooperation with Moscow “more than covers such side effects.”
In addition, the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite the enormous pressure of Washington, repeatedly emphasized that the rejection of the Russian S-400 is impossible. He announced this again two weeks ago.
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
- © Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Presidential Press Office
“We explained to Trump that Turkey will not back down on the S-400 issue. I told Trump how Turkey came to buy S-400 systems, and he recognized our right, ”NTV television quoted Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan made a similar statement on November 14 following talks with his American counterpart.
“Exhausted all the possibilities”
According to Alexander Asafov, Washington will make new attempts to put pressure on Erdogan due to the supply of S-400, but this topic will "not be so bright" for the United States in connection with the upcoming presidential election.
“Washington may threaten expulsion from NATO, the collapse of the Turkish economy. However, so far the Americans will confine themselves only to political statements, ”the expert said.
At the same time, Asafov emphasizes that Turkey is not afraid of the “consequences” that Washington is afraid of, in particular, expulsion from the F-35 program.
“It is not a problem for Erdogan to refuse contacts on American fighters, because he expects to buy the necessary aircraft from Russia. The Turkish President realizes that it is more important for him to establish cooperation on the supply of S-400 and other latest military equipment, which NATO has no analogues, ”the analyst said.
Vladimir Shapovalov agrees with him.
“The fact that Turkey, being a member of NATO and the closest ally of the United States, has signed a contract for the supply of S-400 and wants to continue the corresponding cooperation with Moscow, despite the absolutely unprecedented and brutal pressure from Washington, indicates a high degree of demand for Russian military technologies in the Turkish side and the great political will that Ankara has shown, ”the expert said.
Meanwhile, according to Shapovalov, Washington has already “exhausted all possibilities of pressure” on Ankara due to the acquisition of Russian S-400s.
“I think this is the maximum that Washington can do in relation to Turkey. However, no methods worked; accordingly, the United States does not have the ability to suppress a state that has sufficient authority, resources and political will. Turkey has fully demonstrated that it is able to deal effectively with these challenges, ”the analyst said.
- S-400 complex in Turkey
- © Turkish Military / Turkish Defense Ministry / Handout
At the same time, Shapovalov focused on the fact that the expansion of military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Ankara will not be limited to an agreement on additional supplies of S-400.
“Russia has quite serious export opportunities for a variety of weapons. Turkey, as a country in a difficult geopolitical situation, is interested in strengthening its armed forces. Ankara is interested in buying many types of Russian weapons, which are advanced in the world. It is possible that the parties will agree in the future on the purchase of Russian fighters in exchange for the F-35, ”the expert concluded.