MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Ankara may take advantage of its plans to boost defense cooperation with Moscow to put additional pressure on Washington, particularly as far as the US obligation to set up a safety zone in northern Syria goes, Head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies’ Center for the Near and Middle East Vladimir Fitin told TASS.
"Turkey’s plans to boost defense cooperation with Russia are an additional factor of pressure on the Americans to make them more willing to resolve issues concerning a safety zone in northeastern Syria," he said.
At the same time, in Fitin’s words, talks on creating a buffer zone on the Turkish-Syrian border may take a long time. "There will be serious bargaining," he noted. "Turkey insists that the buffer zone be 30-40 km wide, while the US doesn’t agree. So it is hard to say when the issue will be resolved," the expert said.
"The Manbij situation made it clear that US promises are relative. Turkey understands it, this is why it’s making threats that if the creation of a safety zone is delayed, Ankara will carry out a military operation on its own," he explained.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said following talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the MAKS 2019 International Aviation and Space Salon that the parties had discussed the joint production of aircraft, particularly the Su-35. Erdogan, in turn, stated that Ankara was interested in joint production of military hardware.
In September 2017, Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 systems and made an advance payment. Russia’s Rostec State Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the deal was worth $2.5 bln. The first stage of the delivery process took place on July 12-25. The second stage began on August 28.