What’s Next For Turkey’s NATO Membership After S-400 Purchase?

What’s Next For Turkey’s NATO Membership After S-400 Purchase?

Written on 10/08/2019


Turkey has sealed a military deal with Russia, receiving the first parts of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems in the summer of 2019. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not bow to pressure from the United States, and Ankara’s determination to acquire Russian-built weaponry will enrage both Washington and its NATO peers.


  • Turkey has sealed a military deal with Russia, receiving the first parts of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems in the summer of 2019. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not bow to pressure from the United States, and Ankara’s determination to acquire Russian-built weaponry will enrage both Washington and its NATO peers.
  • Turkey’s purchase of the cutting-edge Russian military technology poses a thorny problem for all fellow NATO allies, a situation that presents a threat to the security of the entire Alliance. Turkey impairs NATO’s military deterrence of Russia,and NATO is soon seen to drastically reduce cooperation with Ankara.
  • Turkey seeks to depict the current turmoil over its buying of the Russian S-400s in terms of a fissure in its bilateral ties with the United States, or a state of affairs that should not affect Ankara’s position in NATO structures. Brussels, for its part, is simultaneously making efforts to mitigate the crisis, remaining unwilling to exacerbate its ties with Ankara any further.
  • The Turkish purchase of the S-400s prompts the question over Ankara’s intentions and its alliance with NATO. None of the parties is yet bound to break off the mutual engagement, seen by both as viable. Therefore Turkey’s acquisition of Russian military equipment, followed up by a deep political breakdown in U.S.-Turkish bilateral ties, cannot be the prelude to Ankara’s being kicked out of the bloc.
  • Russia gains most from the Turkish-NATO deadlock amidst the S-400 supplies, albeit only tactically. Moscow is aware that a lasting alliance with Ankara is unlike to be forged – and opts for short-term solutions to weaken the North Atlantic Alliance. Turkey fails to view Russia as its alternative – military, commercial, or technological. Both countries’ interests in Syria and the Caucasus run contradictory one to another while in Moscow, there is a powerful group that lobbies against Turkey. If Turkey intends to keep its position of top regional power, it is doomed to work closely with the West, and not with Russia.


Photo source: KREMLIN.RU

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