Dec 03 2017

Turkey may face U.S. sanctions for purchasing Russian missiles – The Economist

The U.S. State Department blacklisted Russian arms company that produces the S-400 air defence system and Turkey’s plans to purchase them may risk running foul of American sanctions against Russia, British magazine The Economist wrote.

Turkey may apply for an exemption, the analysis said, yet the current crisis with the U.S. would not help the Trump administration officials, nor would convince the U.S. Congress.

Ankara has a few reasons to buy the S-400:

  • It is cheaper and just as well, if not more, capable compared to the U.S.-made Patriot system;
  • Turkish officials maintain that Russians will transfer more technology, and even allow co-production that would help Turkey to develop its own national missile defence system;
  • S-400 can shoot down NATO’s F-16 fighter jets, which, according to some analysts, is the main reason that Erdoğan wants them to protect his palace against rouge forces within Turkish army, like the July 2016 coup attempt.

NATO has concerns as well. The information obtained by S-400’s radar system could create ‘challenges’ for allied aircraft deployed in Turkey, Petr Pavel, NATO’s military committee chairman was quoted by The Economist as saying.

The same is also true for Russia, The Economist wrote, “Putin must also be wary of sharing Russian secrets with a NATO member. So despite all the posturing, the deal could yet unravel.”