Vladimir Putin: “Turkey is one of the Russian principal partners”
Russian president Vladimir Putin states that Turkey is one of the leading Russian partners and both countries need to work out how to cooperate on the way of fighting against terrorism.
Vladimir Putin commented on the relations between the two countries at the 7th investment forum “Russia calls!” Turkey has always been one of the principal partners for Russia. Economic and power relations have been rapidly developing between the countries during the last decades. “Turkish companies managed to earn billions of roubles in construction engineering only”, - noted the Russian leader.
A Russia started its military operation in Syria, the countries need to come up with the best ways of fighting against radicalization together. According to the Russian president, Russia does not aim at gaining geopolitical leadership by taking advantage of the Syrian conflict. Moreover, the level of cooperation with the Western countries on the Middle East problem is not sufficient.
Vladmir Putin believes that Russia, the United States, Turkey and Europe should work on helping the sound parties of the Syrian conflict to achieve and establish a political dialogue between each other. “How can we collaborate?” – said Putin at the forum while commenting on the official Washington reluctance to share its intelligence services’ information about the radical groups’ locations.
Regep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech on Russia has recently deteriorated. Russian airplanes have violated the Turkish air spaces for a few times and the Turkish president warned Moscow that it risked losing its’ important partner. It is hardly possible to say whether Erdogan meant to take some actions as far as Russian strivings to eliminate the terrorists in Syria are concerned or not. On the one hand, all the statements of the Turkish president target the people of his own country rather than foreign politics’ participants. Parliamentary pre-elections are near at hand and they might result in the parliament which is not entirely controlled by Erdogan. Therefore, positioning himself as a politician advancing national interests seems to be a justified approach at the moment. In addition to this, a demonstrative lukewarm attitude towards Russia might be explained by the aspiration to gain support of the Crimean Tatars from Turkey who are worried about their nation on the Crimean peninsula. It could be that “The Justice and Development Party” will politicize the issue of the Crimea annexation.
On the other hand, Erdogan cannot accept the fact that Bashar Asad is still the president of Syria. So, Russian support of the Syrian government is regarded as a reprehensible act by the Turkish establishment. It is also known that the Turkish intelligence services secretly support radical groups. Some experts believe that Turkey and ISIS formed a kind of alliance to fight against the Turkish Kurds. Successful Russian air strikes targeted at the positions of the Takfiri organization make Erdogan worry as the situation inside his country can potentially deteriorate because of this.