Russia to Speed Up Delivery of S-400 to Turkey

S-400 Air Defense Missile System currently on duty in Crimea.
S-400 Air Defense Missile System currently on duty in Crimea.

Turkey requested to speed up the delivery of the S-400 air defence system from Russia. According to Russian presidential aid Vladimir Kozhin, Russia is ready to meet them halfway in their request.

“The contract is signed and it is being fulfilled. The Turkish side kept expressing its desire to speed it up and we have found an optimal option here: we met them halfway about speeding up the contract,” Kozhin said in an interview Monday.

In October 2017, Turkey paid an advance to start the production of the S-400 air defence system. Four divisions will be delivered at a cost of $2.5 billion.

S-400 air defense system. © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
S-400 air defense system. © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko

A NATO ally since 1952, Turkey seems to draw away from the alliance in pursuit of more independence over the current geopolitical issues in the region. Drawn by regional issues and the lack of support by its allies, Turkey has recently turned toward Russia to supply them with a much-needed air defense system.

In an article written last October, I stated that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Turkey’s decision to acquire the Russian S-400 did not go against the alliance’s interest.

Although NATO’s Secretary General saw no issues with acquiring air defencs systems from Russia at the time I wrote that article, the United States has issued warnings that it could face consequences over the move.

Since then, NATO seems to have shifted towards the American opinion stating the S-400 would not integrate with other allies’ system. Even NATO’s Military Committee Chairman Petr Pavel issued a warning stating Turkey would face consequence of that decision.

“The principle of sovereignty obviously exists in acquisition of defence equipment, but the same way that nations are sovereign in making their decision, they are also sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision,” Pavel told reporters in Washington, DC on October 25, 2017.

The first unit is scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2019.