The contract between Moscow and New Delhi on supplies of Russian S-400 air defense systems will be settled in rubles, according to Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. The move comes as Moscow intensified recent efforts to make de-dollarization of the Russian economy one of the main pillars of its policy. The Kremlin is looking for an alternative to the US dollar in mutual settlements with international partners.
The installation of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in Turkey will begin in October 2019, state-owned Anadolu news agency on Thursday quoted Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar as saying. Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 systems, which are not compatible with NATO defenses, has unnerved the United States and NATO member countries, which are already wary of Russia’s presence in the Middle East.
India agreed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems on Friday, the two sides said, as New Delhi disregarded U.S. warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under U.S. law. “The (two) sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of S-400 long range surface to air missile system to India,” India and Russia said in a joint statement at the end of the talks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin headed for India on Thursday looking to tie up billions of dollars in arms deals with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, likely irking the US, China and Pakistan in one fell swoop. The Kremlin said before the two-day visit by Putin and top Russian ministers that the “key feature” would be the signing of a $5-billion deal for the S-400 air defence system, despite the risk of US sanctions against countries buying Russian defence kit.
The Russian S-300 air defense system and dozens of additional hardware pieces have been delivered to the Syrian military to boost security of Russian personnel there, Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, told President Vladimir Putin. “We have completed the delivery of the S-300 system,” Shoigu said. The hardware supplied to Syria consisted of 49 pieces of military equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers, he added.
S-300 and its follow-on systems are some of the most capable and dangerous air defenses an opposing air force could ever face. Not only are the missiles mobile, but the systems are networked together. One S-300 battery is a handful, but several such systems networked together into an integrated air defense system is a nearly insurmountable challenge for most fourth-generation fighters like the F-16 or F-15. The S-300 series is deadly. “A complete game changer for all fourth-gen aircraft [like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18]. That thing is a beast and you don’t want to get near it.”
The Russian military will also supply better control systems to Syrian Air Defense Troops, “which are only supplied to the Russian Armed Forces,” defense chief Sergey Shoigu elaborated. Arguably, the most concerning thing for Israel will be the delivery to Syria of an S-300 anti-aircraft system, which will boost Syria’s capabilities to deny Israel access to its airspace.
“We will not just buy the S-400s and place them in a storehouse. We will use them if need be. These are defense systems. What are we going to do with them if not use these defense systems? Are we going to depend on the United States again? We have been demanding them for years, but the answer given to us has been: The [US] Congress is not allowing. We are tired of this,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks broadcast live by private Turkish-language TGRT Haber television news network on June 12.