Ankara provokes Nato with Russian missiles deal
Turkey's President Erdoğan wants to stick to his plan to buy Russia's S-400 missile defence system, as he stressed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The plans are causing tensions within Nato because Russia could potentially obtain sensitive data about the military alliance as a result of the transaction. Commentators also express concern.
Turkish president going astray
Erdoğan will enter troubled waters if he increasingly distances himself from Nato, the daily newspaper Kathimerini predicts:
“Even at the Pentagon, an increasing number of officials are starting to believe that Turkey's current relationship status with NATO is unsustainable. In their view, US policymakers until recently made the mistake of not sending clear signals to Ankara because they relied more on the carrot than the stick. 'President Erdogan barks a lot, but when someone shows his teeth, he usually stops,' an American analyst with deep knowledge of Turkey said recently. US-Turkey ties will be seriously tested in the coming months.”
The sultan is falling into the czar's embrace
Russian President Putin has every reason to be delighted, Phileleftheros comments:
“The close relations between the two leaders and the declarations of mutual support and cooperation in the business and military technology sectors show clearly that Turkey is changing course despite the US's reactions. It is clear to everyone now that Russian-Turkish collaboration has markedly improved. ... Vladimir Putin must be rubbing his hands with glee. Russia's goal is to destabilise the West, and it seems to be working. Robbing Turkey of its US protection is a major coup because on the one hand this poses major problems for Nato and on the other hand the alliance is losing a key ally. The czar has every reason to smile now that the sultan is falling into his embrace.”