SOFIA, ($1=1.77 Bulgarian Levs) — The United States has raised with Turkey the question of the unlikely possibility of Ankara sending its Russian S-400 missile defense systems to Ukraine to help it fight the invading Russian forces, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing several sources and the Bulgarian news portal Sega.bg.
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Senior US officials made the proposal to their Turkish counterparts last month, but no specific or formal request was made. Sources added that the request was mentioned during a visit to Turkey by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman earlier this month.
The administration of US President Joe Biden is asking its allies, who use Russian equipment and systems that include the S-300 and S-400, to consider transferring them to Ukraine, which is trying to repel the February 24 Russian invasion.
The idea, which analysts say will be rejected by Turkey, was part of a broader discussion between Sherman and senior Turkish officials on how the United States and its allies can do more to support Ukraine and how to improve bilateral ties.
Turkish authorities have not commented on any US proposals related to the transfer to Ukraine of S-400 systems in Ankara, which has long been a source of controversy between the two NATO countries.
Turkish sources and analysts say such a proposal is very unlikely to materialize, citing problems ranging from technical obstacles to the installation and operation of the S-300 in Ukraine to political fears of a retaliatory strike by Moscow against Ankara.
Turkey has started testing the acquired Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems against US-made F-16 fighters, the British edition of The Times wrote in November 2019.
It was said at the time that Turkish television had shown obscure footage from the first S-400 radar test that began near the capital, Ankara. The US fighter jets, which have been in the Turkish Air Force for 32 years, have been used for training purposes. Authorities in Ankara have warned residents that F-16s and other planes will fly low to the ground in the coming days.
The S-400s were delivered to the country in July 2019. After almost three years of negotiations between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. As a result, Turkey was excluded from NATO’s program to produce and purchase new-generation F-35 stealth fighters. According to Turkish media, the S-400 is located in Ankara and is fully operational in April 2020.
In the summer, the deployment of the complexes stopped because Washington was trying to “return Erdogan to the US military system.” Washington fears the S-400 will help Moscow gather information on Western military technology, including the F-35, “much faster than usual.”
Therefore, Turkey’s decision to buy an air defense system from Russia has sparked a crisis within the North Atlantic Alliance, especially amid the Cold War-style confrontation between the two countries, The Times explains.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law throughout Ukraine. Air raid sirens were heard throughout Ukraine for most of the day. Ukraine’s ICT infrastructure has already deteriorated as a result of Russian cyber-attacks and bombardments. Several Ukrainian cities or buildings have been occupied, including the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
However, per a US defence official, Russians forces are “meeting more resistance” in advance towards Kyiv “than they expected”; a statement repeated by James Heappey, Britain’s current Minister for the Armed Forces the next day.
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