“March to the East”: the friendship between Erdogan and Putin has found a second wind

Most notably in “pairs figure skating” between Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — his immutability.

On Friday, the two presidents met in Moscow when it took less than a month from the moment when the victims of a Russian bombing in Syria happened to have three Turkish soldiers and 11 were wounded.

Under other circumstances this incident would cause a long and deep crisis in relations between the superpowers. But Turkey’s reaction was surprisingly restrained.

All developed on a similar scenario and when extremist Turkish police in December shot the Russian Ambassador in Ankara.

The key role the Ambassador played in the diplomatic efforts in Syria, and accusations of lack of necessary security measures could easily undermine the renewed rapprochement between the two countries. But this episode also became a little “bump” on the road.

“Our two countries even closer and more efficient cooperation in the fight against those who carried out this provocation”, — said the press-Secretary of Vladimir Putin.

For analysts in Ankara and in Moscow, it is clear that ongoing collaboration is a tactical necessity.

It was not always so. Relations between the two countries were frozen when the NATO country Turkey is little more than a year ago shot down a Russian military aircraft near the border with Syria.

Vladimir Putin was furious, and only an official apology Erdogan, born six months later, marked the beginning of a gradual normalization of relations.

The failed coup was a turning point

Erdogan failed military coup in the country last year was a turning point in relations with Russia. Western countries criticized the mass arrests made by Erdogan after the attempted coup, but the President supported.

Since then, the attitude of Erdogan to Europe and especially Germany became even more cool. The Turkish President has accused Germany in the “Nazi practices” during debates on the law of the Turkish Ministers to campaign on German soil.

Vladimir Putin, Turkey is an important element in the attempt to gain diplomatic superiority, and as for the future of power sharing in the throes of Vaughn Syria.

It is the agreement with Erdogan — a sworn enemy of Syrian President Bashar al — Assad- let in the past year, Syrian government forces with the support of Russia to regain control of Syria’s largest city Aleppo.

Now comes the battle for Northern Syria, where rebels supported by Turkey, claiming that they had regained the city of al-Bab, which had been under the control of ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.). According to Russian media reports, the Turkish attack is carried out after the agreement with Russia. “Russia and Turkey share Northern Syria,” — wrote the Russian newspaper Vedomosti last month.

The split in NATO

In the view of the Kremlin bilateral cooperation — an attempt to oust us-led coalition, which, in turn, is active in the South of Syria. With the ongoing rapprochement with NATO country Turkey, relations with which both the United States and Europe is already quite tense, Moscow could benefit from the discord in the Alliance.

“Given the dynamic situation in the North of Syria, Turkey is losing the ability to please both the US and Russia. This is what Putin craves. Sooner or later Ankara will have to make a choice between the US and Russia, and Putin wants to try to win the favor of Turkey when it happens,” said a Turkish military expert Metin Gurkan in an interview with radio Deutsche Welle.

Erdogan, too, has interest in flirting with Russia — at least in order to improve its position in negotiations with the United States and Europe. This can happen when it turns out the possibility of Turkish cooperation in Putin’s “alternative EU”, the Eurasian Union and even the Russian-Chinese Shanghai cooperation organization, said Russian political analyst Dmitry Egorenkov in an interview with the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets”.

“In this “March to the East” the Turkish President wants to build their rhetoric on dialogue with Moscow, which proposed the role of an agent of the Eastern bloc within NATO, Europe and in relations with the United States,” — said Dmitry Egorenkov.

Besides Syria, the two presidents, according to the Kremlin, are going to talk about the resumption of construction of Russia a new nuclear power plant in Turkey, as well as on the implementation of the project of construction of the Russian pipeline to Turkey, which previously refused.