Turkey is trying to sit on two chairs – at the same time, it continues to purchase S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Russia and at the same time is ready for negotiations with the Americans about the supply of the Patriot system.
In April, the first regimental complex of anti-aircraft systems S-400 (in the NATO classification “Grunts”) will take up combat duty in Turkey. In total this year, we recall, Ankara purchased four divisions of complexes from Russia for a total amount of $ 2.5 billion.
This caused extreme indignation among the Americans, who frightened the Turks with a rupture of military-economic relations (in particular, a rupture of the deal on the joint creation of F-35 fighters).
Ankara initially adopted a sharp tone, announcing its readiness to completely expel the US military from Incirlik airbase. However, it immediately became clear that such threats would be difficult to implement.
But then the Turks unexpectedly changed their anger to mercy and agreed to purchase Patriot anti-aircraft systems: this was stated by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavoshoglu.
At the same time, Chavoshoglu said that official Ankara in no way intends to refuse to cooperate with the Russian side. Moreover, next year, Ankara may purchase a second batch of S-400 systems from Moscow.
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How did it happen that today Turkey has become the main troublemaker in NATO? Professor Mikhail Roshkin told about the further variants of deelopment.
– The North Atlantic bloc has long outlived itself and is only hindering the restoration of a climate of trust on the European continent. Nevertheless, it was in recent years in Brussels that a new expensive block headquarters was rebuilt.
Interestingly, NATO is still trying to recruit someone into its ranks. So, two years ago, small Montenegro was admitted to NATO. Although from whom should she defend herself?
But Turkey (unlike Montenegro), of course, is an important element of the bloc. But, as we see, it turned out to be the most vulnerable to the outdated design of NATO. For Turkey, to be honest, NATO has lost its usefulness. To date, membership in the Ankara bloc gives practically nothing.
– Do you think that other countries of the bloc can follow the example of Turkey?
– The conflict with Turkey, of course, is rocking the unity of NATO. The farther, the more, the leading NATO members (and Turkey is also a leading one) it becomes obvious that the bloc has outlived itself, but they are afraid to talk about it out loud.
– Can Turkey be called a leading member of the bloc?
– Of course. Turkey has the second largest army in NATO (in the Turkish Armed Forces – 355 thousand people, in the US Armed Forces – 1.4 million people – approx). And the leading members of the bloc are those who pay.
Compare with the position of the countries of Eastern Europe, which pay little, but always require something. The loudest shout are those who give nothing especially.
The conditional northeastern flank of NATO (Poland plus the Baltic states) is eager to aggravate the confrontation with Russia. But it is obvious that neither France nor Germany needs this at all, as the recent Paris meeting in the “Norman format” showed. Ukraine is increasingly turning into a marginal country for Europe, and even Donald Trump’s mention of Ukraine after the impeachment story simply causes idiosyncrasy.
– By the way, about Trump. After all, he was an active supporter of the militarization of Europe, demanding an increase in membership fees from European countries.
– And it’s clear why. In general, NATO for the United States, the farther, the more it becomes a financial burden. President Trump as a businessman understood this very well. It seems to me that if he remains president after 2020, then his discord with European countries will only intensify.
– And the discord with Turkey?
– Turkey will continue to maneuver. It is now heavily dependent on US military supplies, but it is also building relations with Russia. It’s still about supplying a huge army.
It is no coincidence that Ankara aggravated the issue on the Incirlik base, which for the United States has geopolitical significance. Therefore, the Turks can argue with the Americans, but in the end, I am sure, will agree.