Veronica Krasheninnikova: "Putin's visit to Turkey will strengthen restoration of constructive relations between Moscow and Ankara"

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Veronica Krasheninnikova: "Putin's visit to Turkey will strengthen restoration of constructive relations between Moscow and Ankara"

Two official reports on the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkey in October were announced today. First, it was announced by the head of Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges Rifat Hisarciklioglu, and later it was confirmed by a spokesman of Russian President Dmitry Peskov. The director general of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives, advisor to the director general of the MIA Rossiya Segodnya, Veronica Krasheninnikova, discussed this visit in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- What issues will be on the agenda of Putin's visit to Ankara, and what does it mean for three-month restoration of relations between the two countries?

- If this visit will indeed take place, it will strengthen the restoration of the Russian-Turkish relations that happened after President Erdogan apologized for the tragic incident with the Russian plan in November of 2015. The restoration of the Russian-Turkish relations itself demonstrates goodwill of Russia and its readiness for constructive cooperation with Turkey. Further statements of the Turkish side mean a willingness of President Erdogan to follow equally constructive approach, but we still need to see results of those correct words that he said. There is a potential in restoration of relations between Russia and Turkey, this matter must be approached comprehensively, we must consider the situation in Syria and the work of some Turkish circles in Crimea, Central Asia and some regions of Russia. Right now it is clear that the agenda will include economic projects, in particular the discussion of a major infrastructure project 'Turkish Stream', since it is economically beneficial for both sides.

- Will Russia and Turkey manage to reach an agreement on the settlement of the Syrian crisis?

- Right now an agreement on the settlement of the Syrian crisis between Russia and Turkey would be the best outcome. Turkey is actively involved in the Syrian conflict for a long time, and until recently it insisted on the resignation of President Bashar Assad, while Russia's position is that the fate of Bashar Assad should be decided by Syrian people and in order to ensure that people will be able to do it in the framework of legitimate elections it is necessary to restore peace and put an end to terrorism, which breaks Syria apart. There were rumors about a possible meeting between President Erdogan and President Assad in Russia - with the participation of Russian President, of course. Perhaps this meeting would become a very important step in the right direction and would give us the opportunity to resolve the crisis in Syria with Turkey's participation in the interests of Syrians.

At the same time, Turkey can expect a complete restoration of relations with Russia and the establishment of a stable and peaceful in the Middle East, because it is interested in it - but no compromises can be made at the expense of Syria. The position of Russia and the international community is that Syrian territory is indivisible, so no compromises on this issue can be expected. In any case, both Russia, Turkey and other countries are interested in peace in the Middle East.

- How Turkey views Russia right now? How important is Moscow for Ankara among all of its foreign contacts?

- I believe that Turkey has a lot people who want a complete and fast restoration of relations with Russia. I mean, above all, business circles, tourist business and, of course, certain political groups. As a result of the policy pursued by Turkey in recent years it is in a very difficult situation. It has pretty bad relations with the European Union, with the countries of the Middle East and the US. Moreover, there is a very difficult situation in Turkey itself due to a war with the Kurds. Restoration of relations with Russia became a way out of this difficult situation for Turkey. It's great that President Erdogan found strength and opportunity to make this step towards Russia. 

At the same time, Turkey is an important and the most eastern member of NATO, so despite all problems that exist between Washington and Ankara, Turkey's membership in NATO is inviolable. Turkey still has obligation to continue military and political cooperation with NATO and its member-countries. Overall, Turkey and the United States have very deep, but complex bilateral relations. The relations between Germany and Turkey have also become much more complicated, but all these problems, especially those associated with refugees, still must be addressed. A complex of relations between Turkey and the Middle East is also far from simple. Of course, Turkey is a participant of many processes, but the question is how to make these processes more constructive and how can they be beneficial for all participants.