According to foreign sources, Turkey's military and political leadership has expelled a group of Russian specialists from the country who were engaged in training Turkish formations to master the long-range S-400 Triumph air defense missile systems.
The contract stipulated that Russian officers and civilian manufacturers be sent to Turkey tasked with preparing to deploy air defense systems purchased from Russia, in the Turkish territory. They were busy training the local military to maintain and use the pieces under battle conditions. But their training has not been completed.
Conspicuous is the fact that a decision to this effect was made by the Turks right after the regular NATO summit in Brussels, which comprised negotiations between Presidents of Turkey and the United States Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Joe Biden. The parties agreed to strengthen cooperation, including in the military realm.
The expulsion of Russian missile specialists from Turkey should be construed as the Turks' determination to abandon the use of this type of Russian weapons. Information about the Turkish motives is still coming in.
It should be noted that there are many issues concerning the fate of the missile agreement between Ankara and Moscow. Following lengthy and delicate negotiations, the $2.5 billion agreement was signed upon the Turkish initiative in September 2017 after the two countries' leaders had to interfere and personally agree on treaty cost and terms, the settlement of accounts and payment deadlines.
The leadership of NATO headed by the United States acted as the agreement's staunch opponent: President Donald Trump's administration imposed a set of military-technical, economic and financial sanctions against Turkey, which dealt a telling blow to that country's economy.
As requested by Recep Erdogan, Russia, in its turn, sped up contract implementation, and delivered all the S-400 air defense system elements to the Mürted airfield (Ankara) by military transport aircraft between July 12 and September 15, 2019. At that, Donald Trump's irritation reached its height, and the Turks announced their intention to purchase a second batch of Russian items, in defiance of Brother Jonathan.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden has taken a more flexible stance in its relations with Turkey, avoiding any unfriendly acts and stressing the importance of Ankara's participation in NATO. Earlier, the press obtained information that Washington is ready to "forgive" Ankara and provide it with a $ 10 billion loan in exchange for its consent to yield the Russian missile complex to the United States.
It was rumored that the Americans, with the Turkish approval, tried and failed to hack electronic circuitry of S-400 launching pads and missiles...
Specific conditions of the Russian-Turkish deal have not been revealed. But it’s an obvious point that Turkey has yet to pay for the delivery in full. Hopefully, the contract will stipulate a ban on the sale or transfer of air defense systems to a third party, as well as financial sanctions in case of non-compliance (as applicable to foreign specialist training).
At the same time, Recep Erdogan's decision does great harm not so much to relations with Russia, but to his personal ties with President Vladimir Putin in every instance. Knowing the Russian leader's mentality, he will unlikely keep confidence in the Turk afterwards.
Erdogan is furious over Russia's actions to limit Turkey's influence in the South Caucasus, as well as Azerbaijani leadership's continued loyalty to its traditional neighbor. Moreover, the Turks did not expect such a deep authority and influence of Russia in Syria, as demonstrated by voting results in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
Premised on Turkey's current attitude to Russia, Ankara's next attempt to bring pressure on Moscow may well be the freezing of the construction plan for a nuclear power plant, with a loan provided by Russia.
There is a good chance that within this framework, Russia will give the go-ahead to Syria's decisive military actions against the pro-Turkish armed opposition in the north-west of the country. At the same time, the Russian Aerospace Forces will strongly support the Syrian government army.
The history of international relations with the Ottomans is testimony to the fact that they only recognize a strong and confident enemy. Such a political line alone forces them to act as steadfast partners.