Turkish-Russian relations have had a tumultuous history characterized by periods of tensions and conflicts but also cooperation. Despite periods of intense cooperation, bilateral relation lack institutionalization and an ability to develop a stable and common perspective on regional and global matters.
Turkey and Ukraine enjoy a stable, dynamic, and quite profitable relationship, one that has flourished during the last six years. The two countries often praise their security and defense cooperation, which increased significantly over the past five years.
When the escalation with Russia started, many in Ukraine began to wonder whether turkey would stand by Ukraine and support it against Russia’s possible incursions.
Factors determining Turkey’s closeness with Russia:
- Russia was always of greater economic and security value as a partner than Ukraine, for Turkey. Turkey ignored opinion of Ukraine and also its Western allie signed up to Russia’s TurkStream pipeline project to bypas Ukrainian territory in delivering Russian gas to Europe.Turkey also purchased S-400 missile from Moscow, despite criticized from the United states .
- Ankara is trying to use the Russian invasion to further increase its regional and global influence by assuming the role of mediator. Would strengthen turkey’s reputation and influence in the region Allow it to lay claim to the role of chief mediator between Russia and the West.
- Russia’s isolation from Western markets through sanctions, Ankara is able to take advantage of Russia’s domestic market. Turkey’s export-oriented economy needs new markets.
- Russia needs technologically advanced markets that can substitute restricted exports from the West. Turkey is in a strategic position to seize the economic opportunities
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Meeting b/w Ankara and Moscow:
- Turkey agreed to pay for Russian gas partly in rubles. The meeting favours demand for rubles & Accelerates dedollarization.
- The two allies want to increase bilateral trade . It could lead to a boom in Turkish goods and services on the Russian market.
- Central banks are in close coordination to set up an integrated payment system to replace the need for SWIFT bank.
The European Commission’s annual report on Turkey criticizes Ankara for increase trade and financial relations with Russia, inviting Russian oligarchs to the country undermining EU sanctions against Russia. “Ankara’s continued policy of not aligning with restrict measures against Russia is of concern due to the free circulation of products, including dual-use goods, within EU-Turkey Customs Union.” – Hungarian commissioner.
The report said that Turkey did not close its airspace to Russian planes and openly welcomed Russian Oligarchs to invest in the country. It also implicitly criticized Turkey for facilitating Russians to obtain Turkish citizenship. Such schemes pose risks in security, money laundering, tax evasion terrorist financing, corruption and infiltration by organized crime
- Ukraine and Turkey will remain partners, but it will be a more ad hoc and pragmatic partnership than ever oth the Ukrainian government and public will always question Turkey’s positions and its reliability as an ally The no less ad hoc partnership Russia will limit the development relations.
- Still, for the foreseeable future, Turkey will remain an indispensable intermediary in the Ukraine-Russia-West triangle-simply because no one else managed to play this nearly hopeless role more successfully an produce any deliverables. Turkey still pursues a pragmatic foreign policy. It is neither pro-Ukraine nor pro-Russia. entirely pro-Turkey.
- It is hard to say that Russia and Turkey have become “friends” in the context of the war in Ukraine. Much will depend on what tangible concessions each country is prepared to make to the other.
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