Following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s March 10 meeting in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin, it was reported that Turkey was engaged in negotiations to procure the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. Sergei Chemezov, the CEO of the Russian state-owned Rostec, said on March 14 that Turkey had asked for credit to buy the system, but that a deal had not yet been reached. “As soon as an agreement is signed and a decision is made on the amount of the loan, then we will sign a contract for the supply,” he said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed a day later that both sides were interested in a deal.
NATO member Turkey opting for a Russian defensive system has serious ramifications, no doubt affecting Turkey’s strategic military and political relations. Since deciding that it should have its own defense system instead of relying solely on NATO, Turkey has been wavering between the various offerings of its Western allies and Chinese and Russian alternatives.