Turkey's S-400 deal is beyond arms trade, reflects growing cooperation - analyst
Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 is beyond an arms trade as it will increase Russian influence over Turkey in the coming period, said Moscow-based think tank director in an interview with Euro News on Saturday.
U.S. officials say the S-400 missile system is incompatible with NATO defences and have repeatedly threatened Turkey with sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and expulsion from the F-35 fighter jet programme if it installs the Russian systems.
"This is far beyond the arms trade. This is Russia's great military success in the international arena," said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
Pukhov said the sale of the S-400 system would pave the way for securing other significant arms sales contracts with Turkey, bringing Ankara-Moscow relations to a higher level in the face of the United States, and proving Russia as a trustworthy military partner.
Despite U.S objections, the delivery of the first S-400 system Turkey purchased from Russia started on Friday, the fifth and sixth Russian cargo planes carrying hardware of the S-400 batteries landed at an airbase near Ankara on Sunday, according to Turkey's Defence Ministry. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to announce chosen sanctions package to punish Turkey for receiving parts of a Russian missile later next week, according to reports.