Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

Russia news: Putin’s missiles on EU’s doorstep in Turkey as Erdogan defies Trump – PICS | World | News

Leading satellite imaging site ImageSat revealed that “for the first time observed, the recently arrived from Russia to Turkey S400 is in operational mode and deployed in Ankara”. While the weapons are fully stationed with functioning radar screens, the site confirms that, for now, they are not yet loaded. The shocking images unveil acquisition radars, three stationed, deadly launchers and potentially additional launchers stored in hangars.

This signifies a big win for Putin over Trump, as Turkish president Erdogan has snubbed NATO despite Turkey currently being a member.

Trump had already started removing Turkey from Washington’s F-35 programme after S-400’s had been delivered to Ankara from Moscow.

Erdogan said after a meeting with Putin last week: “Su-35 and Su-57 (Russian made fighter jets) planes among the alternatives … why not? We did not come here in vain.”

This will concern the White House firstly because it is thought that Russian S-400’s are more effective than weapons currently used by NATO members.

Furthermore, the Russian S-400 missiles could compromise the security of NATO’s F-35 fighter jet.

Representatives from US Defence have claimed that the weaponry in Turkey could be used to collect intelligence on the aircraft that is set to become the cornerstone of NATO states’ future operations.

Turkish officials risked the wrath of Washington, by noting that the missiles would not be linked to NATO’s wider military operation.

US secretary of defence Mark Esper warned Turkey that it cannot sit in the middle of this military dispute.

READ MORE: Russia accuses Britain of ‘conniving with Nazis’ before WW2

He said: “It’s either the F-35 or the S-400. It’s not both.

“It’s not park one in the garage and roll the other one out. It’s one or the other.

“We are where we are and it’s regrettable… Turkey’s been a long-standing partner and ally and I would hope they would move back in our direction and really live up to what NATO agreed to many years ago.”

Experts have raised concerns as this situation could lead to economic decline in Turkey as a result of the suspension of arms sales imposed by the US.

Fracturing relations between Turkey and the rest of NATO could also provoke Erdogan closer to Putin.

Disagreements over issues such as the situation is Syria have already caused a rift between Washington and Ankara.

This latest diplomatic unrest means ties between the two NATO allies could result in irreversible fallout.

It also comes as Ankara’s relationship with the EU becomes increasingly fractured.

Recently, rows over Turkey drilling in waters off the coast of Cyprus have put Erdogan on a collision course with Brussels.

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