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Erdogan’s blitz visit to Russia

Erdogan’s blitz visit to Russia

Today, Turkey needs to ensure support by both U.S. and Russia, which is now regaining the status of a world power.

Russian-Turkish ties have been recently facing serious jeopardy named Syria and Iran. Syria is a major challenge, indeed, being a chief hub for almost all regional hydrocarbon transportation projects. The real transporter of oil and gas from Near East to Europe is namely Syria and not Turkey, which now tosses about in its foreign policy.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Ankara resorts to all kinds of tricks striving to become a regional leader; it declares a “zero problem” policy, then adopts a “reasonable power” concept. According to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey will respond to Syria’s actions with weighed moves, with no rash decisions. The reality, however, is somewhat different: organization of camps for Syrian refugees, who then are recruited as militants to fight against Bashar al-Assad; weapon supply to the opposition, cheat games with Iran, etc...

Relations with Armenia are of least importance here, and this is good for Yerevan. Ankara knows perfectly well that Russia views Armenia as a quite friendly state, and any moves against Armenia will be perceived by Moscow as antagonism to its ally. Maybe this is the reason that support to Azerbaijan is merely manifested by Erdogan’s loud statements, like “Our brothers’ pain is our pain” and the hackneyed “The border will be opened when Armenian troops leave Karabakh” phrases. Both Ankara and Baku realize the value of these statements; they are worth nothing; instead, they please the self-esteem demonstrating the “invariability of policy towards the enemy”, namely Armenia.

Now, back to Russian-Turkish relations. The Turkish side recently initiated a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “The parties discussed the situation in and around Syria, including the recent tragic incident with Turkish military aircraft hit by Syrian air defence. The circumstances of this incident need thorough investigation, the parties stressed,” Kremlin’s press service reported.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is arriving in Moscow for a one-day visit to meet the Russian leader. The negotiation agenda will include further development of bilateral relations, including the preparation for the third meeting of the Russian-Turkish top level Cooperation Council due in Turkey in autumn. In particular, cooperation in the energy sphere will be a major subject of talks.

Today, Turkey needs to ensure support by both U.S. and Russia, which is now regaining the status of a world power.

Actually, it never lost the status; however, recent years saw some westernization trends. With Putin’s comeback, despite the global and domestic attitude to him, Russia is gradually trying to regain at least some of the positions it has so far lost. The efforts should first focus on Near East where the U.S. increasingly reinforces its presence, breeding chaos and discord between nations. As to Turkey, as always, it is the first to see which way the wind blows, and tries to minimize the losses. This is no “reasonable power” any longer, but an urge to gain at least something. This is namely what Erdogan’s visit to Moscow proves. If they fail to “settle” the Syrian issue the way U.S. plans, Ankara will have to follow Russia’s rules, and also the Chinese ones, to some extent. All in all, the underlying basis of the “Arab spring” is the mere control over energy carriers.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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