Mideast Daily News

Putin, Erdogan Sign Arms Deal that Leaves NATO Unsettled

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

September 13, 2017

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Minimalizing NATO’s concerns about a deal signed on Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Moscow to sell the Turks S-400 air defense systems, a NATO spokesman told the French news agency AFP that the alliance is concerned about the interoperability factor: in an alliance, it’s necessary that the parties all use interchangeable equipment and no one besides Turkey is buying Russian. The Pentagon recently said the same thing, although in a tepid tone: “It’s a good idea” for allies to buy interoperable equipment.” But the issue is much deeper: many see the S-400 deal as a first – and large – step toward Russia and away from the West. Or at the very least, a shot across Washington’s bow as a reminder that it’s not the only arms shop in town. Besides Turkey, Egypt is entertaining a large-scale return of Russia to the region as a player for the first time since the US replaced it as the Cairo’s security patron with the Camp David Accords in 1978.

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