Read between the lines
RT with big news: Russia ready to supply S-400 missile systems to Turkey – Putin
Handing over the S-400 to Erodgan? Is Putin crazy, or just reckless?
Maybe, but probably not.
If you read Putin's entire reply you can see he was actually pouring cold water on the idea that the Turkish proposal was realistic.
Read the full report:
Russia is ready to sell its S-400 air defense systems to Turkey, President Vladimir Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He added the issue was discussed earlier with his Turkish counterpart.
“We discussed the possibility of selling S-400s [to Turkey]. We are ready for this,” Putin said in answer to a question from a Turkish media reporter.
Speaking about cooperation between Moscow and Ankara in assembling the defense systems in Turkey, he said it depends on the readiness of local manufacturing industry.
“At the moment, we don't produce those systems abroad,” Putin added.
“We are ready to deliver these newest and most efficient systems. President [Recep Tayip] Erdogan and our countries’ militaries are aware of it.”
Currently, Russia and India are jointly producing the Brahmos hypersonic missile, but such projects require massive investment in technologies and human resources, the president said. “But overall, there is nothing impossible.”
Asked to comment on the matter by a Turkish reporter, Putin immediately said Russia was willing to sell S-400s to Turkey.
However, he knows full well that isn't actually what the Turks are interested in. As we explained at RI last month what the Turks really want is the technology transfers to build them on their own. (The missiles alone they can get from NATO or China.)
So what did Putin have to say about that? He said that: a.) S-400 are so far only produced in Russia, and b.) that producing them anywhere else would require massive investments by the other country.
He basically told the Turks: come back when you've sunk billions into your arms industry and maybe we can talk.
The Russian president wants to appear highly cooperative, but clearly he does not think the kind of deal Ankara has in mind is likely any time soon.