Turkish acquisition of Russian S-400 raises concerns within NATO

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 27.9.2017 10:54

Russia will start to deliver its most sophisticated missile defence system, the S-400 Triumf, to Turkey in about two years at the earliest, an undersecretary of Turkish defence industry Ismail Demir said on Monday 25 September. This is the first major purchase of Russian military equipment by a NATO member state, which raises considerable controversy within the Alliance.

The agreement was signed on 12 September, when, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, a deposit of total $2.5 billion was paid as well. Erdoğan justified the purchase of the Russian system, among other things, by „overpriced” offerings by Western arms suppliers. However, the problem remains that the S-400 system is not compatible with NATO systems. Experts attribute the purchase of Russian technology to Turkey's problematic relations with alliance partners, and the acquisition is also seen as a reaction to the withdrawal of German and US air defence systems Patriot from Turkey. Vladimir Kozhin, the advisor for military cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin, also described the deal as fulfilling Russia's strategic interests. Nevertheless, Erdoğan assured NATO members that the convergence with Russia does not signify a reassesment of NATO commitments and Turkey's role in the Alliance.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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