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The Kremlin and Ankara: a situational partnership?
Material posted: Pankratenko Igor N.Publication date: 06-04-2018
Vladimir Putin's visit to Ankara on the keyboard political guru. The program of the summit fueled the already high interest to the Kremlin, while at the receiving side the long list of tasks in the format of the Ankara–Moscow varies from taking market share of tomatoes to the global plot of NPP "Akkuyu".

What shifts can produce in the geopolitical agenda of the two-day stay of the President of Russia on the territory of responsibility of Recep Tayyip Erdogan? On this topic an interview with "Rhythm of Eurasia" was given by the orientalist expert, Deputy Director of the Center for strategic assessments and forecasts (Russia), doctor of historical Sciences Igor Pankratenko.


– Vladimir Putin's visit to Turkey began with the laying of NPP "Akkuyu" – dreams of Turkey, where Russia intends to invest $22 billion Moscow activates the object Rosatom in Turkey, why the Kremlin is doing?

– You are absolutely right in saying "dream of Turkey" because of the conditions on which Russia will lead to the construction of this facility, for Ankara it is absolutely fabulous. In fact, Moscow takes care of all project-related financial costs, the return on which will be the most optimistic forecasts at least twenty years, and along with all the risks from monetary to technical.

Actually, when eight years ago began the story of "Akkuyu", the calculations of the Russian side was quite straightforward – we build this nuclear power plant, and then taking into account the plans of Erdogan for the development of the Turkish nuclear energy to become a monopoly in this field. Moreover, taking into account the share of Russian oil and gas in Turkish energy imports, Moscow has considered that thus it becomes possible to obtain a powerful lever of influence on Ankara. It looked very tempting, and that led to the statement of Vladimir Putin made in 2012 during a visit to Ankara: "We will Fund this project."

The only problem is that the Turkish side had been completely different point of view and in any form of energy dependence on Russia to get not wanted. We will not here about diversification of gas supplies, will focus only on nuclear power. In 2013, Ankara signed an intergovernmental agreement with Japan on the construction of a second nuclear power plant – Sinop, which has already begun and must end – the same as "Akkuyu" in 2023 And 2016, Turkey signed a similar agreement on the construction of the third nuclear power plant now with China.

In the end, the monopoly in the Turkish market Rosatom "not threatened", of any additional "leverage" on Turkey, however. But the financial burdens left in full. To abandon the project of Moscow can not is a scandal with far-reaching consequences, to adjust it to conditions favorable for the Russian company's side, the Turks do not intend to. Therefore, the "Akkuyu" today looks very expensive gift, and the receiving side does not consider himself obligated.

– The Turkish President during a press conference noted that the future specialists in nuclear power plants are trained in Russia, and then will work at home. The picture drawn is quite positive on the other side of the Black sea. Does Turkey Russia is the package? What are the geopolitical future of Russia in the implementation of the global invest-project "Akkuyu"?

– That's exactly what's on the other side of the Black sea all looks fairly positive. But I would like positive and on our side. While everything happens according to the rules set by Ankara.

Naturally, in such conditions to speak about serious geopolitical Outlook for Russia, which supposedly can occur following the implementation of this project, is it too optimistic to look at the world. In the case of "Akkuyu" – Yes, we were allowed on the market, but we're not the only one, and "one of". Remember the phrase Erdogan's 2015 in times of crisis, it says on this issue: "If Russia does not build nuclear power plant "Akkuyu" will come and build someone else."

It's become something of a tradition already unhealthy – all large-scale Russian-Turkish projects initiated and widely prodeklarirovannye Moscow – the infamous "Turkish stream", "Akkuyu", selling s-400 turn out in the end very modest results.


– The political component of visit of the President of Russia to Turkey – Syria. In the presence of diametrical interests of the players (Iran, Turkey and Russia), and are the most difficult to find a compromise solution on the subject of the negotiations? Whether the intersection of the interests of the players post-conflict Syria and non-interference in its internal Affairs?

– Today, the main issue is the boundaries of those zones that each of the participants in the axis of Ankara–Moscow–Tehran considers the scope of their interests. It is quite clear that such a question is always a hard subject of disputes and even conflicts. When you consider that about a quarter of the country is under the control of American proxies – that whatever is said about trump's "departure from Syria," the situation becomes more complicated.

More urgent problem of economic reconstruction of the country and its subsequent political and territorial-administrative arrangement, continues to fight groups already sort of "pacifying" territory. You can list about a dozen questions about the future structure of Syria that Ankara, Moscow and Tehran there are very serious differences. Moreover, his vision for the future of the country is the United States, and Israel, and other countries and cross-border groups, tied to the conflict.

The "exit" of any country from the civil war, and even in the presence of external system participants, the process is not just painful, it is still not always successful, look at Afghanistan or Somalia. That is, in a sense, demonstrated in yesterday's meeting – no major decisions on the Syrian issue was not taken up, limited by the fact that stated a certain status quo, and then we'll see.

As for "interference in internal Affairs", here, you need to just say no now, the state of the Syrian Arab Republic. There is a set of territories, in one way or another under external control. In fact, thanks to him, this management, and existing. What does "internal Affairs"...

– How America can respond to Turkey's contract with Russia on the supply of s-400?

– This is a very interesting situation. The Turks initially very specifically showed interest in this transaction. Im single (and this is important) the required four divisions, on preferential payment terms, and most importantly – used in the creation of the "Triumphs" of technology. The Turkish military-industrial complex could then use when creating their own similar systems. Almost all of these wishes of Ankara Moscow fulfilled. While Ankara is not going to – continue is not going to refuse from cooperation with either the USA in acquiring the Patriot, or the Italian-French Eurosam in obtaining system air defense/missile defense long-range SAMP/T c-zour "Aster-30".

For information about the upcoming Ankara with Moscow the contract on the "Triumphs" (or who is familiar, s-400), Washington at first reacted rather nervously. Subsequently, when it became known the details of the agreement, the tone of the Americans became more peaceful. The explanation here is quite simple – the purchase of four divisions of Triumphs does not mean Ankara's refusal from cooperation with the USA and NATO. And if so, then there is no reason for dramatic scenes. Well, it was the case, the Saudis bought from Russia a few thousand "Kalashnikovs", even a factory for their production are going to build – and the world keeps spinning, and the orientation of Riyadh has not changed. And here with s-400.


– Whether politicians attach importance to verbal the style of the Turkish President, calling his Russian counterpart that a great friend, brother? How real concessions to regional interests of Russia and Turkey have obligations in NATO?

– Of course not. I would say more, if the politician or the expert gives the value, as you put it, "verbal style", it is a diagnosis of his professional incompetence.

In relations with Ankara Moscow, it is desirable to understand clearly that Turkey's relations with NATO, USA, EU will always be a higher priority than the most enticing projects with Russia. And there should be no illusions.

You know, Erdogan will never be Pro-Russian or Pro-American. He will always be Pro-Turkish. For him the interests of his country, as he understands them, – always higher relations with external partners. To the Turkish President, it is possible to treat large-scale identity is always ambiguous, but the way he manipulates his foreign policy partners, as famously playing on their contradictions, is simply top class. What sort of "knives in the back" – he just does what today is beneficial to Turkey. Today he is Vladimir Putin – brothers, tomorrow, Donald trump, and yesterday was Assad. But this does not mean that Russia, the us or Syria to become Turkey sisters.

– Igor Nikolaevich, consider whether a visit to Turkey, our President factor "reboot" and warming of Russian-Turkish relations?

– Here I did not see signs of a "reset". Moscow and Ankara stable alternating peaks thaw-cooling. And the main reason for this is not some malicious treachery of the Turks. Turkey and Russia in a whole range of issues and regions are full-fledged competitors. Their interests in politics and Economics diverge in many respects.

Between Moscow and Ankara, of course, it may be a temporary, situational partnership. But for a number of reasons it will never be strategic. If you understand this, then no "knife in the back" does not get it.


Tags: Iran , Russia , Syria , Turkey

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