The United States, previously simply disapprovingly addressed to Turkey in connection with the purchase of Russian S-400 complexes, went to direct threats. Washington threatens Ankara with economic sanctions in case of final approval of this deal. What exactly does Turkey risk and how likely is it that it will succumb to this blackmail?
Turkey may be subject to US sanctions under the CAATSA law after the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia, a representative of the State Department threatened Wednesday.
"Ankara claims that it agreed to purchase Russian C-400 missile systems, which could potentially lead to sanctions under Article 231 CAATSA and negatively affect Turkey's participation in the F-35 program," said Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell, speaking in the House of Representatives Of the Congress.
"It is in the US interest that Turkey strategically and politically support the West, and we believe that Turkey itself is interested in this. Our goal is for Turkey to become a more active ally (USA) in supporting the Geneva process, the destruction of IGIL * (the terrorist movement banned in Russia) and stabilization in Syria, and also helped to prevent the expansion of Russia and Iran, "Mitchell quotes Kommersant ".
While it is not clear how seriously Washington aims to disrupt the deal between Turkey and Russia, Gregory Copley, editor-in-chief of the US edition of Defense & Foreign Affairs, believes.
"The US has many tools to press on any country. For example, Turkey is highly dependent on US technology, "the US military expert told VZGLYAD. In his opinion, for the aviation and aerospace industry of Turkey can be fatal, if Washington prohibits their transfer, it may later even eventually paralyze the work of Turkish airports. However, before pushing to such an extent on Ankara, Washington will have to agree on this issue with the European Union. Otherwise, Copley warns, the interests of the EU countries, closely related to the Turkish economy, may suffer.
"It is clear that it will be difficult to withdraw from the multibillion-dollar contract of Turkey. Nothing like this from anti-aircraft complexes in return for the United States will not be able to offer it, "the military expert explained. - Erdogan will try to keep his contract with Russia, despite the possible damage from Washington. That is, the confrontation will begin. "
State Duma deputy Leonid Kalashnikov is sure that the threats of the State Department will not affect Ankara.
"The Turks knew perfectly well when it was determined with this purchase that Saudi Arabia had already refused from S-400 earlier under pressure from the Americans," the deputy said in a conversation with the newspaper VZGLYAD. - Erdogan understands: the US can use financial leverage, say, against Turkish banks to disrupt the deal. But I'm sure that the deal will take place. Especially after the old Soviet anti-missile anti-aircraft systems now shot down so many American missiles in the sky of Syria. "
Kalashnikov added that the Americans, without hesitation, are trying to push Russia out of the arms market, doing so under the guise of sanctions. He believes that in this situation, our country should arm all these anti-aircraft missile systems with as many allies as possible.
Washington is not the first time to exert political pressure on Turkey over the C-400. In November, US Air Force spokesman Heidi Grant threatened: the purchase of C-400 would deprive Turkey of access to US military technology. In particular, according to Grant, the United States can stop supplying F-35 fighters to the Turks. In accordance with the contract already signed, Turkey must buy 120 such fighters within several years. The first two have already been delivered to the country earlier this year.
"We intend to study the situation and understand how we can build cooperation with Turkey in the future. One thing is for sure: our strategy does not allow us to interact with other systems, "Defense News News Agency quoted Defense of News (translation of the newspaper VZGLYAD). I mean just the C-400 system.
In fact, as Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, noted last week, Ankara itself does not hurry to buy new F-35 for purely financial reasons.
"As for Turkey, which was going to order 120 aircraft, now they are concerned about the problems of their tanks, which proved to be quite vulnerable in the battles with the Kurds in Syria. The Turks consider it more expedient to reduce the cost of planes and spend more money on additional protection of their tanks, "Pukhov explained in an interview with the newspaper VZGLYAD.
Recall, in early April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the introduction of sanctions by Washington on Rosoboronexport only confirmed the determination of Ankara to acquire from Russia S-400 air defense missile systems. In response, NATO stated that the acquisition of C-400 runs counter to Turkey's integration into the Alliance's air defense system.
Before that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had agreed with Erdogan to accelerate the delivery of C-400. Supplies of Russian S-400 SAM systems to Turkey are scheduled for July next year.
In August, US President Donald Trump signed the law "On Countering America's Enemies through Sanctions" (CAATSA). According to him, the US can punish any client of the Russian military-industrial complex in any country in the world in the event of major transactions. True, while the Americans have never used their new law.