‘Russia’s S400 Missile deployment is a message’
BURSA - An adviser in Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies Associate Professor Ferhat Princci pointed out that Russia’s S400 missile deployment is a message; in case the coalition warplanes launch a strike against Assad regime, this is Russia’s message to the coalition forces.
A lecturer at the department of international relations and an advisor at ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) Associated Professor Ferhat Pirincci, answered the questions of Ilke News Agency (ILKHA).
Indicating that Russia sent its warplanes because of ISIS, Pirincci said that deploying S400 missiles a kind of surface to air missile though ISIS didn’t have any air power was a message. Saying that in any case of coalition forces’ striking Assad regime instead of ISIS, Russia intended to give a message, Pirincci indicated the possibility that if these were used in anyway, Russia may encounter coalition forces.
Here is the interview we made with Ferhat Pirincci in the wake of downing Russian warplane, imminent developments may occur between Russia and Turkey:
What is your assessment about Turkey’s downing Russian warplane?
“Russia lost prestige seriously”
If we look from the viewpoint of Turkey, from the beginning of Syria crisis Turkey has taken a clear attitude. Turkey hasn’t conducted a military intervention. But any threat targets the national security, in accordance with the rule of reciprocal; Turkey will protect its national security. Finally, after the downing of Turkish plane, Turkey declared new engagement rules. Through new engagement rules, any plane violates Turkish air space, Turkey have the right to down that air vehicle. That we know a Syrian helicopter and a Syrian plane were downed. When we consider the incident of downing the Russian plane, Turkey downed a warplane violated airspace which was warned 10 times. If this plane belonged to Syria Air Force, this news would have probably appeared in the press with subtitles in news channels or considered as daily news and dropped off the agenda. But it was a Russian warplane that differentiates the situation. This caused a great loss of prestige for Russia both at home and international world. I don’t think Russia can put up with that.
Do you consider this rational that Russia’s economic sanctions against Turkey with the fact that having financial problems?
“Russia’s commercial restrictions and sanctions will sure harm Russia itself”
Of course not! Turkey needs Russia and Russia needs Turkey as well. Russia’s commercial restrictions and sanctions will sure harm Russia itself. From that point this isn’t rational. However, when we take Russian decision makers into consideration, in fact Putin himself, whether a rational man or not; he is obviously not a rational man. So dragging your country into conflicts with more than one country and doing this regardless of opposition and public opinion shows that Putin is not a rational man. In this respect, Russia will try to have Turkey pay for it by imposing sanctions against Turkey to compensate its loss of prestige. Yet, Turkey is not a Georgia nor Ukraine or Syria. At least Russia has got it that it cannot breach Turkish airspace whenever it wants.
Do you think Russia had some other goals by provoking Turkey even though it was warned harshly by Erdogan and NATO over violating Turkish airspace for many times?
“International Community remained silent while 250 000 people were slain in Syria”
Frankly, I don’t think there were ulterior motives. Russia assumed that it can do whatever it wanted like in Ukraine and no one could raise its voice against it. Consequently no one has ever raised its voice against, while 250 000 people slain in Syria. Some chemical weapons were used by Assad regime and international community remained silent. International community remained silent while 4 million of people abandoned their houses and migrated to other countries. Likewise 8 million of people displaced in Syria and international community remained silent again. In this regard, Russia made a tactical mistake by violating Turkish airspace constantly rather than testing Turkey’s patience. I don’t think Russia will ever make such a mistake.
How do you regard China’s silence over the rising tension between Russia and Turkey?
“China views it economically”
The event hasn’t moved up to a global scale yet. It is still being considered as a bilateral situation. Turkey downed a Russian plane. With the words of the President; what was this Russian plane doing there? Thus, the event occurred in Syria lands, however the issue hasn’t been being considered like a triangle between Turkey, Russia and Syria. Now, it is still at a bilateral level. At least, during the immediate after the incident was like that. On that score, China’s silence is normal. But when this incident turns out in a global scale then we can expect China to take actions. China’s stance in Syria is pretty clear: “Unless the regime changes in Syria we will have cooperation with incumbent government. If regime changes in Syria we will try to have new ties with new regime to continue our business.” That’s to say China views the issue economically. After all there aren’t any vital benefits in there for China. If it had been an Iran or India or Saudi Arabia where it buys in great amount of petrol or selling weapons in great amounts, it may have had a direct intervention to the incident.
Do you think Putin’s words saying Turkey will regret what it did; sanctions will not be restricted with economy, as signs of war?
“Russia may play PKK card against Turkey”
I view Putin’s these words as an effort to repair his prestige. Namely, I don’t think he would start a war against Turkey. This will be crazy for him. Howsoever he is not a rational man, he isn’t crazy this much. Turkey hasn’t acted economically or militarily against Russia. Turkey also has many trumps in its hands. Yes, Russia may have nuclear weapons or have a bigger military power when compared with Turkey but the thing it has to take account that Turkey is a NATO country. There is NATO against Russia with their 28 member country that is the biggest defense organization in the world. Any assault or military engagement against any member country requires a NATO intervention; in fact this is the greatest opportunity for the USA and England seeking for. So, Russia will pursue some other paths. What can it do at that point? it may play PKK card against Turkey. Or it may seek new ways to extend Assad regime’s life and fuel the conflicts to deepen instability in the country to be worse than current situation or have new collaborations with some countries against opposition groups such as FSA and other groups. But, of course Russia will try to do all of these tacitly but Turkey is also have its own trumps and hasn’t done anything so far. (ILKHA)