Erdogan’s Blitz Visit To Russia

Karine Ter-Sahakian

July 13, 2012

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.

You may also like