Year after Russian-Turkish reconciliation: results and prospects

Year after Russian-Turkish reconciliation: results and prospects

One year has elapsed since the meeting of the Presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in St. Petersburg, which marked the end of the Russian-Turkish political crisis, which erupted due to the destruction of the Russian fighter by the Turkish Armed Forces. The head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, Yuri Mavashev, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the evaluation of this event in the annual perspective and its consequences.

Yuri Mavashev first of all drew attention to the fact that the St. Petersburg meeting of the presidents was the result of large-scale diplomatic work of both countries and the mediators, including Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. "It all started with May 2015, when Turkey has started to change its approach to international politics, paying more attention to state issues and refusing support of illegal armed groups in Syria. Then Erdogan realized the danger of international ideological movements for his country and power. Certain work has been done by the Russian and Turkish leadership and a huge role in their reconciliation was played by the mediators," he said.

The improvement of relations started with the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the renewal of the government. "Reconciliation and the return to the constructive channel of our relations were extremely important, as it meant moving forward to something new. Both Moscow and Ankara have qualitatively changed their approaches, have ceased to postpone political issues for a long time, as well as openly recognized the role of each other in the region. Russia and Turkey realized that they are neighbors, which do not want an unconstitutional change of power, it was clearly demonstrated by Russia's support for President Erdogan at the attempt of a coup d'etat on the night of July 15-16. Then Turkey saw Russia's intentions and Russia saw Turkey's intentions," the expert noted.

Undoubtedly, the reconciliation of the summer of 2016 did not relieve Russian-Turkish relations from all contradictions. "The end of the crisis did not mean that we agreed on all issues and that we no longer have those topics, in which we disagree. But it meant that we, at least, try to maintain contacts and mark our positions to each other as much as possible. The meeting on August 9 became a guarantee of further constructive interaction between the countries. And in my opinion, Russian-Turkish relations are now qualitatively at a higher level than they were before the fall of 2015," Yuriy Mavashev emphasized.

In his estimation, the restoration of the political dialogue was the main result of the reconciliation of the leaderships of the two countries. "Even the unfreezing of energy projects did not have such an impact as an attempt to start building a new political dialogue with the participation of Russian public organizations. Turkey is very interested in establishing political interaction with Russia now," the head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies said.

"I think that if this line continues in the future, only the interference of some external players may be a problem. But nevertheless, I think that the parties will try to discuss all the main topics of both the Middle East and the post-Soviet space, and most likely that the interference by a third party will not create significant hindrances - of course, if we act in the same way as now," Yury Mavashev concluded.