Russia to deliver S-400 missile defence system to Turkey in July: Kremlin

Russian S-400 Triumph medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems ride through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow in 2017. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 12 June 2019

Russia to deliver S-400 missile defence system to Turkey in July: Kremlin

  • NATO member Turkey's S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the US
  • US threaten to pull out of F-35 deal if Turkey does not stop Russia deal

MOSCOW: Russia plans to deliver its S-400 missile defence systems to Turkey in July, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday.

NATO member Turkey's S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the US, which has threatened to remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet programme unless Turkey pulls out of the deal. 

"The agreements reached between Russia and Turkey are being fulfilled on time in the given context. There are no bilateral problems," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday. Asked if the missiles would be delivered in July, he said: "Yes, that's what we plan somehow."

Training by Turkish pilots on F-35 fighter jets was recently stopped at a US air base in Arizona, officials said on Monday. 

The Trump administration has given Turkey a July deadline to make its decision over acquiring the S-400 missile system, as the US believes the purchase poses a threat to the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters, which Ankara also wants to buy.

Separately, credit ratings agency Fitch warned on Tuesday that any U.S. sanctions on Turkey would have a "significant impact" on sentiment around the Turkish lira, which has sold off since late March in part due to the spat with Washington over the missile defence system. 

(With agencies)


Online revolution in the hands of Lebanese youth

Updated 29 min 30 sec ago

Online revolution in the hands of Lebanese youth

  • For the first five days of the demonstrations, television images transmitted live to the Lebanese public provided the incentive for people to take to the streets
  • On the sixth day, activists reconsidered social media, and WhatsApp has become the most-used platform to transmit live images

BEIRUT: The Lebanese youth revolt against tax increases and corruption began on social media with protests about a proposed levy on WhatsApp, bringing dissent from the virtual world to the real world.

For the first five days of the demonstrations, television images transmitted live to the Lebanese public provided the incentive for people to take to the streets.

On the sixth day, activists reconsidered social media, and WhatsApp has become the most-used platform to transmit live images.

The objection of Lebanese army soldiers to motorcyclists holding the flags of Amal and Hezbollah led to the protest rally in Riad Al-Solh Square in central Beirut on Monday night. This reassured those who were still apprehensive about taking to the street.

The “electronic revolution” is parallel to the revolution on the streets. It is mostly comprised of young people aged 12 and above.

Politicians should talk to these young people using modern means, which is what Prime Minister Saad Hariri has done. On his Twitter account, Hariri tweeted part of his speech after the cabinet meeting: “I will not allow anyone to threaten young demonstrators. Your voice is heard, and if your demand is an early election to make your voice heard, I am with you. You have returned the Lebanese identity to its right place outside any sectarian restriction.”

Activists leading the protests have been devising various forms of electronic attraction to motivate people to take to the street, including a video with the signature “Do you know why?” It includes songs about how to defy injustice, recounting the reasons for the revolution and filing “preliminary” demand papers summarizing the demands of people speaking on the street and in front of the cameras.

The hashtag #down_with_Bank_governor coincided with the move by some activists on Tuesday to the Central Bank of Lebanon to protest against the policy of its governor Riad Salameh. However, the response came through the same electronic means and other applications defending the governor.

Many rumors are circulating on social media, including that the president summoned the TV media for consultation and that there is a fear that the aim is to pressure the owners of the TV stations to stop transmitting live demonstrations to prevent protesters from expressing their opinion.

The most well-known action was that of the sister of the Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil resorting to social media to defend President Aoun and her brother.

Dr. Iman Eliwan, a professor of modern media, said that young Lebanese view social media as their “only platform of expression, and touching it ignited the first spark of the protests. And resorting to it during the protests aimed at activating ‘networking’ to prevent any possibility of laxity and to remain united using one language.”

And whether the absence of a unified reference for the movement is caused by this “networking,” she said: “It is possible that there may be group leaders on social media, and they consider these platforms as their strength.”

Eliwan added: “These young people express deep anger and this happens at their age. We used to say that they belonged to the Sofa Party. But they went down to the streets. They control the streets. Maybe they are marginalized in their homes and in their communities.”

Asked if these online revolutions have achieved any results, she said: “It has not reached anywhere in the experiences that we have seen in the Arab world. It can ignite the spark and activate the movement, but the horizon of this movement is deadlocked.”