Turkey’s arms of Russian-made S-400 air defence systems will not be transferred to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday. “This subject is not on the table,” the ambassador told the Doha Forum in Qatar.
After years of lobbying Ankara, a NATO member, to terminate the arms agreement with Russia, the US is said to have pushed Turkey to transfer over the powerful S-400 guns to Ukraine.
The allegation that Ankara would transfer its Russian-made S-400 air-defense systems to Ukraine is absurd, according to Fahrettin Altun, the presidential office’s chief of communications.
According to Reuters, the US has offered to Turkey that its S-400 missile defence systems be sent to Ukraine. The move is part of Washington’s search for anti-aircraft missiles developed in Russia or the Soviet Union to provide to Kyiv.
“Though unachievable today,” Altun said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “this proposal gives an opportunity to explore the challenges Turkey has recently had with the West.” He went on to say that Turkey approached the US first before buying the S-400s from Russia.
“Given Turkey’s location in one of the world’s most hazardous and unstable regions, and the challenges Turkey faced did not miraculously vanish with Washington’s rejection,” Altun added, “Ankara had to look at alternatives.”
Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 programme was suspended in 2019 due to Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defence system, and it was eventually pulled entirely from the programme. Despite strong opposition from the US and NATO, Turkey has stated that it will continue to utilise the S-400s.
Responding to appeals for assistance from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, Russia launched a military operation to “denazify” Ukraine on February 24. The operation is only targeting Ukrainian military facilities, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, and the civilian population is not in risk.
The current crisis in Ukraine has had little impact on Russian-Indian defence sector collaboration, according to Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov.
“The revamped defence industrial cooperation programme is slated to run for ten years, from 2017 to 2031. In an interview with Rossiya 24, he added, “There are a lot of regions and collaborative ventures.”
“I don’t believe, and I can’t even say that I’m certain, that the current situation will have no or only minor consequences for our defence industry cooperation with India, because many Russian companies operating in the military-industrial complex in the field of cooperation with India have long been subjected to unilateral sanctions by the US, some of which have been imposed earlier than others.” And the tightening of limitations brought on by the situation in Ukraine hasn’t changed anything fundamentally,” he added.
The delivery of Russian S-400 air defence systems to India is proceeding according to schedule, and the sanctions will have no impact on the contract’s completion, according to Alipov.
“The deliveries of S-400 systems, in particular, are proceeding as planned, and the extra limits that have been imposed on us will have no bearing on the deliveries or fulfilment of this contract,” he stated. According to Alipov, Russia’s willingness to supply India the latest S-500 anti-air missile systems is still in effect.
“I’m not aware of any Indian reaction to this situation.” However, [Russian Deputy Prime Minister] Yuri Borisov stated, and I can affirm, that if India expresses interest in purchasing S-500 systems, we will thoroughly study and examine their request. But, as far as I’m aware, there are no specific conversations underway at this time,” the ambassador stated.