Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Turkish President Recep Erdogan in the Russian capital of Moscow today, where the two discussed joint economic ventures and the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.
Greeting Erdogan at the start of their talks in the Kremlin, Putin said they will discuss the completion of a pipeline that will carry Russian gas to Turkey, the planned construction of a major electric plant and other economic projects, reported Associated Press.
Last week, U.S. Vice President Pence made it very clear that Turkey, a NATO ally, has to make the choice between buying Russian-made air defense systems and staying in the NATO alliance. Turkey seems to be pressing forward in buying the Russian S-400 missile system, in defiance of The White House, which sees the purchase compromising the security of the very expensive F-35 stealth fighter program of the West. Washington has ceased deliveries of the aircraft and associated equipment.
In a striking development, Russian state news agency TASS is reporting Turkey and Russia also are discussing joint production of military equipment.
“We are holding a broad discussion with Russia on our cooperation in defense sector. We are discussing the issues ranging from mutual supplies of military equipment to possible joint production. Bilateral cooperation in the defense area is of a large scope and continues developing,” declared Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish president’s communications director today on Twitter.
Regarding the situation in Syria, Altun declared in reference to the Untied States presence there, “We are calling on all countries supporting terrorists, which threaten Syria’s integrity, to stop this and make their contribution [to the settlement].”
It is hard to see how Turkey could now be seen as an ally against America’s adversaries when President Erdogan is jointly developing military equipment with the Kremlin, helping destroying any competitive advantage NATO may enjoy.
This development shows the folly of enlarging the NATO alliance to parts of the world that do not share Western values of freedom and liberty. Under creeping Sharia law by their Islamist government, Turkey obviously shares none of these concerns.