On the plane that brought him back from Sochi, Russia, where he met, Wednesday, September 29, with his counterpart Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke about the future he sees in terms of military cooperation between the two countries. “We talked about what we could do about building aircraft engines and about fighter jets. (…) Another area where we can act together is shipbuilding. If God allows it, we can even make joint arrangements for submarines ”, he said, according to the Turkish press.
The announcement comes as the issue of the S-400 air defense system is still the subject of tension between Ankara and Washington. Traveling a few days earlier to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, the Turkish president was not received by Joe Biden, despite Turkish expectations. In front of the press, he himself then conceded that relations with his NATO ally had “Not well started”.
For lack of direct contact with his American counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has therefore multiplied the messages through the media. During a televised interview on the CBSNews channel, for the program “Face the Nation”, he reiterated his intention to continue the program of acquisition of Russian S-400s exposing themselves to new American sanctions. Friday 1er October, the United States reacted.
A new message sent to the United States
“We urged Turkey at all levels and on all occasions not to keep the S-400 system and to refrain from purchasing any additional Russian military equipment”State Department number two Wendy Sherman said when asked about Erdogan’s trip to Sochi. “We continue to make this clear to Turkey, and to tell it what the consequences will be if it goes in this direction”, she added, reaffirming that the Russian anti-aircraft and missile defense system was “Neither compatible nor usable with NATO systems”.
The receipt of a first batch of S-400s in July 2019 led Washington to impose sanctions on Turkey and remove it from its program of state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets in which several Turkish companies were involved. But, although announced with great fanfare on Turkish television channels, these famous S-400s have not yet been activated, leaving doubt about Ankara’s real intentions. The recent declarations of the Turkish head of state concerning the strengthening of military cooperation with Russia, and a hypothetical continuation of acquisitions of the Russian system, therefore appear as a new message sent to the United States and to the members of the Russian Federation. Atlantic Alliance.
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