Abstract. The lack of involvement of Brussels and Washington in supporting the Turkish Government during the 2016 coup attempt has led to a cooling of the Turkish state’s relations with Western partners. Instead, the Russian Federation exploited the context and offered support to President Erdogan, which later facilitated the intensification of Russian-Turkish bilateral relations. The evolution of events culminated in 2017 with the decision of the Turkish state to acquire the S-400 Triumph air defense system from the Russian Federation. In this study, I intend to emphasize the limits of cooperation between the Russian Federation and Turkey in the military field and to highlight the impact of the S-400 deal on Russia – Turkey Relations, as well as on the ties between Ankara and Euro-Atlantic partners.
I will pay special attention to the way in which NATO perceived Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 Triumph system and the direction in which the Ankara – NATO relationship could evolve if the military coo-peration with the Russian Federation – the main threat to NATO – will record new positive developments.
In order to have a clearer picture of Russian-Turkish relations in the military field, in the first section of the article I will present the history of military relations between the two sides. In the second section of the article, I will highlight the actions initiated by the Turkish Government in order to ensure the air defense of the air territory and the context that favored military cooperation with the Russian Federation. The third section of the article will be dedicated exclusively to the S-400 deal, and in the last part of the paper I will present the potential implications that the Turkish state’s decision could have on the relationship with Euro-Atlantic partners.
Keywords: Russian Federation, Turkey, cooperation, defense, S-400 Triumph
PhD candidate, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania