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Turkey Offers Deal on S-400s to Washington

Thursday 11 February 2021

MOSCOW (TASS) — Ankara is ready to make concessions to the Biden administration in terms of using Russia’s S-400 missile systems, but in return the Erdogan government demands Washington stop supporting the Kurdish armed units in northeastern Syria, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The key issue now is how this deal will actually work.

A recent statement by Turkish Minister of National Defence Hulusi Akar suggests that Ankara will be satisfied by the so-called “Greek” scenario of using Russia’s air defence systems. Akar said Turkey was open to talks with the U.S. on the “Crete” model that is working for the S-300s in Crete. “The statement on the Crete model is a reference to the crisis of 1998-1999 around the S-300s, when the Republic of Cyprus, a non-NATO member-state, acquired the S-300 missile system and Turkey threatened to start a war”, political scientist and co-founder of the Geopolitical Cyprus analytical project Ioannis-Sotirios Ioannou told the newspaper:

After the talks, the weapons were handed over to Greece. The Crete model for Turkey and the S-400s are a realistic scenario given the importance of these systems in the troublesome US-Turkish relations. The question is how will this work and whether the right place will be found for a possible handover, which will suit all parties. Ankara sent a signal to the US by this statement.

According to the expert, Turkey is not ruling out the S-400 handover to another state. In his words, Azerbaijan could host the S-400s. “This will occur if Turkey decides that it cannot have the S-400s anymore and it will have to remove it from its soil”, Ioannou said, noting that this would be decided in coordination with the US. “Qatar is ruled out and so is the occupied territory of Cyprus”, he pointed out.


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