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Turkey determined to test NATO

Turkey’s bargaining with Russia for the S-400 air defense system raises a number of military issues, the least of which being that the system is incompatible with NATO's defense structure.
A Turkish flag (R) flies among others flags of NATO members during the North Atlantic Council (NAC) following Turkey's request for Article 4 consultations, at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 28, 2015. Turkey sought moral support for its campaign against militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday with its North Atlantic allies, with both NATO and Ankara playing down any idea of a call for military help from the alliance. Turkey requested urgent consultations with its

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.

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