The pandemic could force Turkey to ‘sell’ S-400 missile systems to the US

MOSCOW, TEL AVIV, (BM) – Turkey’s difficult economic situation due to the country’s coronavirus pandemic could force Turkey to “sell” its Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defense systems to the United States.

A number of Russian experts have expressed such an opinion, according to signals from the Turkish president last week.

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According to them, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to abandon the deployment of Russian air defense systems in the country. Such a decision was made under US pressure and apparently Russian complexes could be “sold” to Washington to investigate.

Of course, “the sale” should not be viewed literally, but metaphorically. I.e. Turkey cannot and does not have the right to resell these systems since their government has confirmed to the Russian Federation that Turkey is the end user.

But at the same time, it can “freeze” their deployment and combat readiness, giving them access to US experts for exploration, analysis and full evaluation of their technical capabilities, as well as their most importnant part of them – the radar systems.

According to information provided by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to accept the US request for Ankara’s refusal to use Russian air defense systems S-400.

“Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a letter to President Donald Trump he hoped the U.S. Congress would better understand the strategic importance of their relations, given solidarity and supplies shared during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Congress has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of S-400 defence systems from Russia, but the pandemic has delayed the plan to activate the systems as Ankara focuses on battling the disease at home” Haaretz notes.

According the Israeli agency earlier this month, Turkish officials said Turkey was negotiating with the US a possible line of credit from the US Federal Reserve and were discussing other financing options to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

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Experts do not rule out that Washington will be ready to pay Turkey about $ 5-8 billion for “access” to Russian S-400 if information about Turkey’s denial of systems is correct, while the supply of American Patriot air defense systems also is possible.

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