State Department approved the sale of American missiles to Turkey

State Department approved the sale of American missiles to Turkey

Washington is clearly trying to improve its badly spoiled relations with Turkey and once again is trying to dissuade Ankara from buying the Russian Triumph S-400.

Turkey for many years was one of the main allies of the United States in the Middle East. However, in recent years, and especially after the attempted military coup in Turkey in the summer of 2016, relations deteriorated sharply, because Ankara accused the conspirators of having links with US intelligence agencies and in an attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Another major reason for the cooling of relations between Ankara and Washington is the good relations between Turkey and Russia, and especially the intention to acquire the Russian Triumph S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. Despite the strong pressure exerted by the United States and the threat of sanctions and the refusal to supply the latest F-35 fighters, Ankara still signed an agreement in the summer of 2017 to supply the S-400 missiles worth $ 2.5 billion. The first rockets, according to updated data, should arrive to the customer in the summer of next year.

Washington put forward many arguments against the C-400. Including the incompatibility of Russian missiles with NATO equipment. Turkey has indeed been a member of NATO for many years, but in Ankara this argument was considered not so convincing as to abandon the purchase of Russian missiles, which by technical characteristics are superior to the vast majority of similar air defense systems of western countries.

Complexes S-400 «Triumph» are designed to destroy all modern and promising means of aerospace attack at a distance of 60 to 400 km. Each unit can simultaneously fire up to 36 targets with guidance to 72 missiles.

One of the explanations of Turkey was the refusal of Barack Obama a few years ago to sell Ankara Patriot missiles, which are produced by Raytheon Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. And in the last days of 2018, the US State Department unexpectedly informed everyone of Congress that it approves the sale of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey. The deal, if it is approved by US lawmakers and President Trump, is estimated at about $ 3.5 billion. The US foreign ministry believes that it will help Turkey fight instability in the Middle East.

«The proposed deal will benefit the US foreign policy and national security, because it will strengthen the security of America’s key ally, NATO, in the fight against terrorism,” the US foreign affairs agency explained its position.

Washington gives a clear signal that he wants to improve relations with Ankara. It is not excluded that the United States hopes that such a breakthrough, and otherwise you will not name the proposal to sell Patriot missiles, will affect the C-400 deal. But both Turkish President and Foreign Minister Mevl? t авavu? oлуlu and other high-ranking Turkish officials have repeatedly stated that the contract was signed with Russia and that there is no way back. Cavusoglu, by the way, did it a month ago in Washington: „The current deal has already been completed. I can not cancel it. But I need more. I would prefer to buy weapons from the allies. «

The Kremlin reacted calmly to the unexpected decision of the US State Department. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the sale of Patriot missiles would not affect the sale of the S-400.

The fact that in America they want to improve relations with Turkey, says that Donald Trump, according to the Turkish leader, still approved the operation of the Turkish troops in Syria. The United States has long insisted on the abolition of this operation, which can begin at any moment, because Ankara did not hide the fact that it was directed not so much against jihadists, as against Kurds. The United States and America treat the Kurds differently: in Washington they are considered allies, and in Ankara they are considered terrorists.

Probably, the sale of American missiles to Turkey will break the ice in the Turkish-American relations despite Ankara’s relations with Moscow.“This is a big deal,” said Soner Kaptagay, director of the research program for Turkey at the Middle East Policy Institute (Washington), «because some more months ago, analysts predicted the death of nearly seventy-year relations between the United States and Turkey. The agreement of the Trump administration to share one of the most modern American weapons systems with Ankara means a new phase in US-Turkish relations … ”

Now in the deal on the sale of 140 Patriot missiles to Turkey, together with ground control stations and radars, the word is behind the US Congress. Lawmakers have 15 days to consider the proposal of the State Department and make a decision on it. This accelerated procedure for handling cases in America is provided for their NATO allies.
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