Mesut Hakkı Сasın, a retired Turkish Air Force officer and professor of international relations at the Turkish Air Force Academy and Ozyegin University, told Sputnik Turkiye that the decision to speed up the delivery of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air defense systems to Turkey sends a message about the state of Moscow and Ankara's relations.
"Russia’s decision to speed up the delivery of S-400 systems as per Turkey’s request shows Moscow treats Ankara’s needs as an important matter. The decisiveness displayed by Turkish President Erdogan who said that "the S-400 deal is made, and this matter is closed" is equally important. Turkey is a sovereign state and it makes independent decisions regarding its air defense capabilities," he said.
As Сasın explained, S-400 surface-to-air launchers will become a valued element of Turkey's national defense system and will play an important role in the defense of Turkey’s first soon-to-be-built nuclear power plant in Akkuyu.
Nuclear Power and Natural Gas Pipelines
"Turkey was never able to obtain access to nuclear energy from the West despite asking for it over the last 60 years. Therefore, Russia’s actions are very important as the laying of foundations of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant became a historical occasion for Turkey,” Casin declared, adding that the new power plant is expected to satisfy about 10 percent of Turkey’s overall energy needs, and that the project will further help improve relations between the two countries and foster mutual trust.
His sentiment was echoed by Ali Faik Demir, a political analyst at the University of Galatasaray, who said that energy cooperation between Moscow and Ankara is an integral part of their bilateral relations.
"Since the launch of the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline project we can see how the energy sphere serves as a collateral of sorts of the Russian-Turkish cooperation stability. … All in all, you can say that the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project will help advance the relations [between Russia and Turkey] and take them to a whole new level of mutual trust," the analyst explained.
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Ankara for talks with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts on April 3.
During the visit Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed a number of important issues, such as the purchase of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems by Turkey and the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
The views and opinions expressed by Mesut Hakkı Сasın and Ali Faik Demir are those of the analysts and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.