The heads of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held telephone talks on the situation in Libya, Syria, Donbas and Karabakh. In addition, they discussed the coronavirus and the construction of the Istanbul Canal. We found out from the experts how reliable partner Ankara is for Moscow, and what are the benefits of such cooperation.
Vladimir Avatkov, Associate Professor, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry:
“Turkey is very active in the post-Soviet space, promoting the ideology of the hub. It positions itself as the center of gravity for the north, south, west and east. In this regard, it is very important for it to use the resources, the potential of the post-Soviet space, a part of which, as Turkey says, is fraternal for it. Against the background of ethnic and religious identities, which are now gaining popularity all over the world, she is trying to form her own subsystem of international relations, in which states will interact according to Turkish rules. Accordingly, Russia cannot ignore the factor of Ankara, especially since over the past 30 years it has nurtured whole groups of influence in the post-Soviet space.
As for the Caucasus, Turkey is trying to build a transport corridor to Central Asia through it. The main obstacle on this path is Armenia, with which Ankara has no diplomatic relations. For Russia, this aspiration of Turkey is, on the one hand, a threat, and on the other, a window of opportunity, because Moscow will also be able to use the opened channels to supply its products to Armenia, Turkey and so on. Turkey’s active involvement in the Caspian region may lead to the fact that Ankara will advance the arc of instability or, conversely, will cooperate with Russia in order to establish a unified security system. “
Alexey Makarkin, political scientist:
“Relations between Russia and Turkey are built on interests and agreements. At the same time, at first Ankara was considered a friend, then a plane was shot down (a Su-24M bomber in 2015, pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed), and it turned into an enemy, and now Turkey is “not a friend, and not an enemy, but so.” She remained in this status. Each of the countries has its own interests, which are somehow coordinated. For example, in Syria they agreed that everyone has their own zone of influence, and there will be no Kurdish quasi-state. In Libya, they were able to form a new government, in which there is neither Marshal Haftar, on whom Russia at one time put, nor Saraj, who was close to Turkey. The conflict there, of course, is far from over, but there is still some progress.
At the same time, Turkey openly supported Azerbaijan in its striving for revenge, while Russia’s situation in the region is much more complicated. On the one hand, it is necessary to defend Armenia, and on the other hand, one cannot quarrel with Ankara, because then Syria and Libya will freeze. At the same time, Putin and Erdogan agreed on the need to unblock transport corridors in the Caucasus. Apparently, we are talking about a package agreement that was reached following the results of the Second War for Karabakh. However, besides the roads, there are many other nuances. For example, the issue of the release of prisoners. Azerbaijan says that it has already freed everyone, and those who remained are terrorists, Armenia has a different opinion. Obviously, the issue will be resolved according to the principle “you are for me, I am for you,” but each of the parties will try to get more and give less. “