The fate of the strategic partnership between Moscow and Ankara, apparently, hung in the balance. Literally over the past few days, a series of events has followed, each of which has a rather negative effect on relations between countries, and all of them in combination can completely lead to their complete breakdown. At the same time, it cannot be said that alarming signs, speaking of impending troubles, appeared only recently in the Russian-Turkish “horizon”.
The first "clouds" began to drag him in connection with the conflict situation in Libya, to the resolution of which the two states have practically diametrically opposed views. It would seem that the emerging conflict was resolved to the satisfaction of all. However, the current aggravation - already in the Syrian direction (and not only there) is unlikely to be so easily resolved. Where does it all go and how can it end?
I don’t know if Recep Erdogan had ever taken acting lessons, but if so, his mentors could have been proud of him. The pathos-tragic speeches of the Turkish president about the "martyrdom" of soldiers who died during the blow inflicted in Syria by government forces and the "suffering of civilians in Idlib", perhaps Stanislavsky himself would have applauded. At the same time, exclaiming about the “impossibility of continuing to endure such a situation”, the warlike leader somehow overlooks the fundamental fact that no one was waiting for his armed compatriots on Syrian soil and, moreover, did not invite him there. Unlike the Russian military, who arrived in the country at the official request of Damascus. Ankara in the territory of a neighboring sovereign state is trying to "force" to solve its own internal (seemingly) problems with the Kurdish opposition, which has not allowed it to live in peace for many years. The Turkish army found itself on foreign territory with the tacit consent of timidly squealing something condemning the "Olive Branch" for a long time unable to control anything of the "world community", as well as with the consent of the Russian side, quite rightly, as it seemed then, to reason that cooperation with descendants of the Janissaries rushing into battle will result in fewer problems than trying to stop them or expel them from Syria. It was not without difficulty that Moscow and Ankara managed to reach mutual understanding, establish joint patrols, and agree on other measures that would ultimately lead to a peaceful settlement, which the country so tormented by war was so necessary.
And now all this is crumbling. The Turkish army, continuing to claim that Damascus was aware of the presence of its troops on the territory of the attack, is already deliberately and aimedly pounding parts of the Syrian government army. Blood is pouring and the situation is approaching the point where our troops will have to respond adequately - especially if the information about the death of four officers of our special forces as a result of all these "showdowns" turns out to be true. It is extremely unlikely that Ankara would decide on an open military confrontation with Moscow or even Damascus (which, by and large, is almost the same). Rather, we are talking about another attempt by the Turks to "show their teeth" in response to the failure of their "blitzkrieg" in Libya. Russia, it must be admitted, has outplayed them in this direction, and very cunningly - with the involvement of the very “international community” and representatives of the European Union, with whom Ankara is forced to reckon after all. Attempts by Turkish expansion in Libya and the Mediterranean are by no means frustrated, but suspended quite seriously. In any case, the frantic offensive pace that Erdogan took, who urgently obtained parliament's approval of sending troops to Tripoli and even began to transfer these troops there, was pretty much lost. Clearly, the Russians interfered. It seems that rapidly and extremely aggressively escalating the situation in Syria, the Turkish side is preparing to arrange another bargain on the Libyan issue and present some new conditions to Moscow on it. This is, in general, the best option. Otherwise, you have to admit that Ankara has embarked on an armed confrontation with our country, which is so difficult and considerable economic I managed to avoid losses for myself in 2015.
Military assistance and "Crimean rudeness"
No less significant in the sense of the sharply negative changes taking place in relations between our countries is literally everything related to the visit of Recep Erdogan to Ukraine. The “Crimean Question” has always been for Ankara, by and large, continuing to consider these lands, if not their property, then at least the sphere of their vital interests, a sore subject. However, perhaps, the statements of the head of the Turkish state on her have never sounded so harsh, peremptory and defiant. Again “illegal annexation”, again “support for the territorial integrity” of Ukraine, which Erdogan in Kiev declared his strategic partner ... So you can agree on a lot - not without reason in the Kremlin, where they usually pretended not to hear the demarche about the Crimea, regularly heard from the mouth of Ankara officials, this time reacted very quickly. True, the words of Dmitry Peskov, who invited Erdogan to personally visit the peninsula and, so to speak, familiarize himself with the situation on the spot, were more a response to the lamentation of the Turkish leader about the alleged “oppression of the Crimean Tatars” than to the “annexation”, but this is a little better than nothing. But Kiev from such attacks was right on top of bliss. This is not surprising - during the current meeting, the Turkish president, striving, such a feeling, to annoy Moscow as much as possible, except that he showered his Ukrainian colleague with kisses. Promises and advances to Kiev from him sounded one more attractive than the other. Mostly in the corporate identity of the unforgettable Leni Golubkov: “We are not competitors, but partners!”
What are only statements about the free trade zone between Turkey and Ukraine, the agreement on which has already been worked out literally by 95%, if you believe the Ukrainian side and will be "just about" signed. In Zelensky’s dreams, this will increase commodity circulation between the countries to 10 billion (!), And the “non-fall” one will be covered by the “avalanche of investments”. Yes, getting the showman’s mentality and habits out of the president is not an easy task ... So far, Ankara’s main “investment” in Kiev is Erdogan’s promise to the president and defense minister of 36 million dollars that Turkey suddenly decided to give them “for military needs”. True, it was initially agreed that these funds the Ukrainian side will be able to spend on the purchase of arms and dual-use goods exclusively made in Turkey. But, according to the head of the Nezalezhnoy military department, it is also planned to “joint Ukrainian-Turkish production of high-precision anti-tank weapons, development of cooperation in the field of repair and operation of helicopters, cooperation in the field of counteraction to unmanned aircraft complexes, joint work on projects of transport aviation and training complexes, in particular, the supply of aircraft engines to Turkey. ” Nice list, agree. However, this is not all! The press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine also announces the prospects of "exchanging information about the naval situation in the Black Sea, as well as increasing air defense capabilities as part of a joint participation in the NATO program (Air Situational Data Exchange) with the armed forces of the Republic of Turkey." This is the number! We are Ankara - S-400, and she intends to "strengthen" the air defense of Ukraine. It seems to me alone that there is clearly something wrong here ?!
Washington will win
Honestly, the impression is beginning to appear that Turkey, having received from our country everything (or almost everything) that it could have at this stage, does not intend to pretend to be an ally and partner. She now has Ukraine as a partner ... The Triumphs have been set up and all that remains is to rejoice that the talk about the “transfer of technologies»These air defense systems turned out to be an empty phrase to the Turkish side, which, incidentally, was terribly offended in Ankara. I remember that some of the bright-eyed optimists proposed with them the Su-57 to jointly develop and produce! It’s just that this was not enough ... Turkey, as we see, began to actively accelerate the process of military-technical cooperation with the “uncoupling”, while perfectly understanding why and against whom it is arming it. There is also a Turkish stream, you say? So he is exactly that Turkish! And most of all, from its commissioning, so far, again, Ankara has won. She provided herself with gas with interest and even got at the same time such a coveted status of a transit country for Russian energy resources. Something tells us that in the future Gazprom will still face such attempts by the Turkish side to pump rights by “playing the trumpet”, so that the squeezed out Ukrainian “Naftogaz” in comparison with them will seem to our exporters a babble. But what about the future - already during Erdogan’s current visit to Kiev, he was discussing with might and main the issue of supplies to the “non-downland”, as was said, “Caspian gas through the corresponding connectors”. That is - through the TANAP gas pipeline. And there, you look, and Caspian gas will flow to Europe through the Ukrainian GTS. In exchange for the Russian ...
One cannot but mention yet another oddity, which so far few associate with a sharp aggravation of Russian-Turkish relations. As soon as they “cracked”, the Americans began to stir very actively in the same Syria. As far as we know, they not only no longer intend to leave the territory of this country, but also began to dig in there in a hurry, and in the most literal sense of the word. In the area of the largest US military base in Syria, located in the vicinity of the Omar oil field, as well as in another similar facility, Tal Baidar, located in the north-west of Al-Hasaka province, intensive engineering work is being carried out, provided, by the way , Kurdish YPG formations who wanted to spit on all the threats of the Turks. In total, the presence of US Army personnel in Syria today is recorded at 11 military bases and points in the provinces of Al-Hasaka, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. Is this febrile activity coinciding with the actual collapse of the Russian-Turkish alliance? Who knows, but, in my opinion, is doubtful. Rather, the Americans are using the opportunity to gain strength. At the same time, there is another very vivid example of how Washington directly benefits from the seemingly "unacceptable" actions of Ankara for it. The other day, the Greek Parliament supported an agreement on military cooperation with the United States, in fact, turning this whole country into a Pentagon military base. In any case, the Americans, to this day having only one naval base in Cyprus there, can use any objects of the Greek defense infrastructure completely free. The reason for this decision is Turkey’s increased military activity, claiming the Mediterranean shelf in the area of Cyprus, which the Greeks consider their own. As a result, in Athens they are already thinking about buying an F-35, and in the United States they are preparing to count the profits and are placing their UAVs at the bases there, from which they can be easily reached from the Crimea.
Whether the fragile alliance of Ankara and Moscow will come to an end now or all will again end with bidding and concessions is still unclear. However, the fact that Turkey was not and never will be, perhaps, never, is already completely obvious.