Turkey buys Russian missile defense system - weakens NATO
Turkey has received the first parts of the Russian S-400 missile defense system. The US lobbied very hard against Turkey purchasing this system. The Turks also want to buy American F-35 fighter planes. The US is deeply worried that Turkey might allow the Russians to examine F-35 planes to assess the planes' vulnerabilities. The United States warned the Turks that they can have F-35 planes or the S-400 system but not both. Worse still from an American perspective many of the F-35 parts are made in Turkey!Russian and Turkey co-operate closely on a number of issues such as Syria but they also have their disagreements. Turkey is a NATO member. President Erdogan of Turkey has publicly questioned whether NATO works well for Turkey.Turkey has the second biggest army in NATO. Wooing the country away from NATO would be a major coup for Russia. At the moment it does not seem likely. A few years ago it appeared to be impossible. But there is no doubt that relations between Russia and Turkey are warmer now than for decades.