Turkey continues its technical military partnership with the Russian Federation because of Ankara’s will of upgrading its defence system and capabilities and make the country less dependent on NATO. The second Turkish purchase of the Russian S-400 might change the balance inside the North Atlantic Alliance and make Moscow and Ankara closer in the international arena.
As the Russian media agency Interfax reported citing Sergei Chemezov, the Head of the Russian state company ROSTEC, the next year Ankara will buy the second batch of S-400 from Moscow. Last year, in July 2019, Turkey bought a batch of S-400 (the Russian missile systems) causing Washington’s threat of imposing sanctions against Ankara and the Turkish suspension from the United States F-35 stealth fighter jet programme.
Why does this matter?
Russian media has positively reported this news underlying how Turkey is becoming closer to the Russian Federation in the military field creating a distance from the United States and the West in general. For instance, the TASS military expert and commentator Viktor Litovkin claimed that Turkey decided to buy the Russian missile system after having positively tested it against its F-16. According to Litovkin, the S-400 has a variety of missiles that can fire at both aircraft and helicopters from different distances and, as the Turkish test demonstrated, can overcome the West military technology.
The Russian expert stated that the first purchase was not enough because Turkey must defend itself not only from the terrorist organisations which have threatened Ankara inside the country and abroad (for instance, in Syria or Iraqi Kurdistan) but also from the United States in case Joe Biden will win the next U.S. presidential elections and the White House will change its strategy and foreign policy towards Erdogan’s government. Furthermore, the second purchase of the Russian missiles system might be essential in case Ankara will fight against Greece considering the fact that just several years ago Athens bought the S-300 complex from the Russian Federation and its entire air defence system without facing the opposition of the North Atlantic Alliance as happened in the case of Turkey.
The Turkish analyst Orkhan Gafarli commented on what is happening between Turkey, Russia and the United States for the media agency Vestnik Kavkaz and noted that nowadays the Russian Federation presents itself as a more reliable partner for Turkey than the United States. Actually, Washington cut off Ankara from its military project and did not show its will to discuss the solution of the Syrian Civil War where Turkish troops are still fighting. Due to the U.S. behaviours against Turkey, Ankara might only boost its partnership and cooperation with the Russian Federation as happened after the attempted military coup occurred in July 2016.
Author: Silvia Boltuc