Turkey-Russia Reportedly Sign New S‑400 Contract
On August 23, Russia’s TASS News Agency reported that a contract for the delivery of a second S‑400 battery to Turkey was signed between Ankara and Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport. TASS indicated that the two sides are now discussing the financial aspects of the weapons deal, which will influence the time frame for its implementation. Separate reports suggest that the finalization of the contract is unlikely before 2021.
The newest contract builds on Russia and Turkey’s existing $2.5 billion S‑400 deal signed in 2017. Notably, the latest S‑400 contract arrives against the backdrop of rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and its NATO allies over access to the region’s energy resources. It has previously been reported that Ankara is considering the deployment of one of its S‑400 systems along the country’s southwestern coast, raising fear among regional rivals, such as Greece, of a power imbalance exacerbated by these new weapons sales.
Thus far, Turkey’s S‑400 procurements have isolated Ankara from its conventional military-technical partnerships with Western allies and particularly the United States, which excluded Turkey from its F‑35 fighter jet program in response to Turkey’s previous S‑400 purchases. Washington has also consistently warned that Ankara is subject to sanctions if it were to deploy the Russian weapons system.