Russia Not Confident of Selling S-400 Missile System to Turkey
Turkey will likely reject the acquisition of Russia's unreliable S-400 Triumf mobile air defense system as it looks to repair battered ties with the European Union and the United States.
And there's also the fact that Turkey -- a NATO member state -- has twice before turned down cheap Russian weapons systems in favor of those sold by the Chinese and Americans.
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Turkey and Russia began talks on Turkey's purchase of the S-400 system in November 2016. Things seemed to be going in Russia's favor when Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Russian state-owned firm, Rostec Corporation, said Turkey expressed a wish to obtain a loan from Russia to purchase weapons, including the S-400 system.
Rostec promotes the development, production and export of hi-tech industrial products for civil and military use.
Turkey's Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık also seemed to be on Russia's side.
"Turkey urgently needs an air defense system. As far as the S-400 system is concerned, we are at the stage of making the final decision. The final decision will be made by the president and the prime minister," said Işık last month.
Isik also revealed Ankara and Moscow had made progress at the talks but "the sides have not reached the stage of signing the relevant agreement."·
He further said Turkey has no plans of integrating the S-400 systems into the NATO missile defense system. It was this fatal flaw that doomed the sale of China's HQ-9 air defense missile system to Turkey in March 2015, and Turkish pundits believe this will be the case with the S-400.
Russian state media also cast doubt on Turkey's eagerness to push through with the deal to buy the S-400.
"Expressions such as 'being interested in' and 'inquiring about the price' do not mean that Turkey will sign the contract to buy the Russian weapons," said Viktor Litovkin, military analyst at the TASS news agency.
"It's still not written in stone. Some time ago the Turks held talks with Russia about buying the S-300 systems. Then it turned out that they were just lowering the price set by the Chinese, who wanted to sell Ankara their HQ-9 air defense systems."