Again - S-400 missiles despite the pandemic

In an article on April 14 (“The effect of unacceptable resignation on loans”), noting that when looking for the next source of funding, Ankara will surely and more seriously face the S-400 problem, we wondered: “April is already ending, and why so far haven’t activated the missiles purchased back in June last year? ”

Meanwhile, on April 20, Reuters, while maintaining anonymity, made a statement by the plenipotentiary of Turkey that “There will be no return to the decision not to put into operation the S-400, but because of the outbreak of COVID-19 ... plans for its readiness in April will be postponed.”

Immediately after that, State Department spokesperson Morgan Deann Ortagus, in an official statement sent by email to the agency, confirmed the US’s concern over Ankara’s position. The statement read, “We continue to emphasize at the highest levels that the S-400 deal is subject to ongoing discussions of sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, and it remains a major obstacle to bilateral relations and relations with NATO. We are sure that President Erdogan and his high-ranking officials understand our position.” 

First of all, it is necessary to find out: is it true that, citing an anonymous plenipotentiary representative of Turkey, Reuters has updated the issue of activation of the S-400 or is this message a manipulation?

Pay attention to the procedure: an anonymous representative of Ankara says that “There will be no return to the decision not to put the S-400 into action, but because of the outbreak of COVID-19 ... plans for its readiness in April will be delayed ... for several months” and then this person receives a lightning response from the State Department spokesman, sustained in its traditional colors.

Along with the rather sharp content of the answer, the Turkish President was also reminded that the problem associated with this issue remains not only in bilateral relations, but also within NATO.

So who would benefit from recalling this problem, forgotten even by the Turkish media (Zeynep Gurjanli, foreign policy commentator of the Sözcü newspaper, recalled it on April 18)? The content of the news suggests that updating this issue is in the interests of the United States and NATO.

For since June last year, Ankara officials, including President Erdogan, in their statements hinted that in April the S-400 would be necessarily activated. It is quite natural that the lull that arose closer to the expiration of this period did not escape Washington’s attention, as evidenced by a Reuters report citing an anonymous source and the fulminating reaction of the Department of State.

A deeper analysis of all these twists and turns reveals the problem of loans that Turkey needs. In this context, Washington makes it very clear: “If you still intend to activate the S-400, then do not contact me about loans,” and again reminds you of CAATSA.

Will Ankara refuse to activate the S-400? The most important stage of solving the problem has come. Against the backdrop of the financial issue of vital importance to it, Turkey will try to transform another set of international military-political relations into cash. That is, in credit negotiations, she will play the S-400 activation card until the end.

It seems that if she eventually backs down, then for a considerable amount.

Mr. Erdogan has long been sophisticated in such matters, and Turkey makes good money on this. The commercial experience he gained as a teenager and youth is very useful.

I sincerely wish Azerbaijan to benefit from all this.

Mayis Alizade

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