180-Degree Turn in Russo-Turkish Relations Caught West by Surprise
- 180-Degree Turn in Russo-Turkish Relations Caught West by Surprise
Russian expert Stanislav Tarasov believes that Moscow and Ankara are sending a “multidimensional message” to the US and EU, signaling that Russia and Turkey may establish alternative economic and political alliances and remain the two influential players on the Syrian chessboard.
The situation on the ground in Syria has changed drastically now that Moscow and Ankara have resumed political, military and economic cooperation, Stanislav Tarasov, head of the Middle East-Caucasus think tank, notes in his article for Regnum.
Up until recently, Russia and Iran have opposed Ankara’s intervention in Syria and threatened to counter such attempts, Tarasov recalls. For its part, Washington also long hesitated to give the go-ahead for a Turkish ground operation in Syria, fearing that Ankara’s potential clashes with Moscow and Tehran could provoke a large-scale regional conflict involving a NATO member-state.
However, when Turkey launched its “Euphrates Shield” operation, neither of the geopolitical players made an attempt to disrupt Ankara’s military initiative.
Speaking to a press conference following the G20 Summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked that the Turkish military operation “was not something unexpected” for the Kremlin, since there are the Foreign Ministry and intelligence services in Russia for its leadership “to face fewer unexpected developments.”
“We understood what was going on and where the things would lead,” Putin said, as quoted by official site Kremlin.ru.
Tarasov points out that there were reports suggesting that Turkey has negotiated its plans with Moscow, Tehran and Washington before the offensive; however, it still remains unclear whether Ankara is really coordinating its military actions with Russia or the US. Still, it cannot be denied that there is a certain thaw in relations between Turkey and the geopolitical players, Tarasov underscores.
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