Libya in exchange for Syria: a subject of bargaining appeared in relations between Moscow and Ankara

A few weeks ago, a Turkish delegation in Moscow discussed the future of Syria and Libya with their Russian counterparts. Now diplomats from the Russian Foreign Ministry went to Ankara on a return visit. It so happened that Russia and Turkey are on opposite sides in the conflicts in both of these countries. Is a compromise possible, and what can it be?

Undoubtedly, the most painful point in relations between our countries is Syria, where Russia and Turkey are actively "pushing their elbows." Damascus is an official ally for Moscow, and Russian troops are on the territory of the SAR at the official invitation of the republic's authorities. Ankara, however, clearly considers the Syrian land "temporarily occupied" and is not averse to returning to the historical borders of the Ottoman Empire. All of this creates a huge geopolitical problem. In words, the Turkish authorities adhere to the principle of the territorial integrity of Syria. In fact, they support terrorist groups that have entrenched themselves in northern Idlib, and have also "taken" part of the Aleppo province.

The formal reason for the intervention and occupation of these strategically important regions is the need to create a security barrier from the Syrian Kurds. After the occupation, Ankara began to oust the Kurds from its borderland, replacing them with ethnically and culturally close Turkomans. There is essentially only one step left before the proclamation of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Syria". This will create an even tighter knot of contradictions that can only be cut by force. Last spring, the question of a military clash between Turkey and Russia was in all seriousness, which was avoided only at direct talks between Presidents Putin and Erdogan. De facto, Idlib was divided into northern and southern parts, which remained under the Turks and Syrians, respectively.

But official Damascus does not intend to endure such a situation indefinitely, declaring the need to squeeze the invaders out of its territory. A shaky ceasefire could be broken at any time, especially when you consider that there are other external players who are interested in creating problems for Turkey near its borders. We are talking, of course, about distant Libya, where the Turks are opposed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, France and Russia.

President Erdogan took advantage of the invitation of the official Tripoli and sent troops into North Africa to support the government of Faiz Saraj in its confrontation with the Libyan national army of Khalifa Haftar. In return, he received hydrocarbon-rich sea shelves and strengthened Turkey's position in the Eastern Mediterranean by opening new military bases. Erdogan's "hussar swoop" was not appreciated by either Libya's neighbors or the EU countries, which Ankara crossed the road. As a result, a broad international anti-Turkish coalition was formed, in which Russia occupies, if not the first, but not the last place either. As you know, our "Wagnerians" are fighting on the side of Field Marshal Haftar.

As a result, there is a subject for bargaining between Moscow and Ankara. If the coalition actually starts hostilities with the Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Libya in order to moderate the revanchist fervor of "Sultan" Erdogan, Russia will have a choice: to support Turkey against its NATO allies with the supply of weapons (for example, Su-35 fighters, about which we told earlier), or, on the contrary, open a second front against it, supporting the Syrian offensive in northern Idlib. The war on two fronts was not pulled even by the Third Reich, far from modern Turkey.

Given this geopolitical alignment, the Kremlin may try to bargain with Ankara for the actual demilitarization of Idlib in return for friendly neutrality, and all the more support for Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. If Turkey fears a Kurdish threat in its border area, it can agree in exchange for the withdrawal of its troops to allow peacekeepers there through the UN. This would be a serious step towards defusing tensions in the region and restoring the territorial integrity of Syria.
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  1. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 16 September 2020 13: 49
    Russia needs to follow the example of the United States and sell its weapons to everyone, and not on credit, but for real money!
  2. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Alexander) 16 September 2020 14: 26
    Why should the Russian Federation support Turkey, which hates the Russian Federation ?! Leaving her alone with her problems, Turkey will suffer defeat from the already formed anti-Turkish coalition and will be forced to leave both Libya and Syria. And it makes no sense to lend another technique to the Turks, firstly, it can be used against the Russian Federation, and secondly, in the event of Erdogon's defeat from the anti-Turkish coalition, which is more than likely, Turkey can refuse to pay off its debts to the Russian Federation, just as Ukraine has already done. ...
  3. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 16 September 2020 14: 32
    Turkey is very dependent on Russia. And here it is necessary not to bargain, but to set ultimatums! Leave Syria and get SU-35, etc. But Lavrov has to work out his job? Here again the negotiations were "muddied".
  4. gorenina91 Offline gorenina91
    gorenina91 (Irina) 16 September 2020 17: 23
    -Turkey will never fail in the hypostasis in which it is now ...
    -Not only is that the whole world today is forced to endure all the freaks of Turkey and is forced to adapt to it ... -that's how she (Turkey) pulled in and put Russia in such a foolish position; that soon Russia will begin to be perceived as ... as a sad comic character del arte ... - that's how Turkey dragged Russia into such a clownery ...
    - Many people here are worried about the fate of Turkey ... - They say ... - They will kick her out of NATO; the Americans will abandon it and leave the Incirlik base ...; and the EU will cruelly laugh at Turkey and expel it from all its corners ... - And Turkey will come ... - an eternal economic blockade and a worldwide political boycott ...
    - You can laugh for a week ...
    -Turkey is needed by the entire NATO world ... -it is needed as an eternal and endless centuries-old enemy of Russia ... -and only this is valuable both for the EU and for NATO as a whole ... -That is why it is so and tolerate all her antics ... - and will continue to endure ... and help her in an extreme situation ... -Turkey in any case ... - will not let go ...
    - But the attitude to Russia is completely different ... - and it will always be "so different" ...
    -It is Erdogan who can play by the rules and not by the rules ... -He has a full deck of trump cards ...
    -And Russia has no trump cards ... -Not anywhere ... not in the whole world ... -Therefore, Russia should rely only on itself; and not try to "be friends"; to provide assistance in order to enlist the favor of such and such; trying to build some kind of "partnership" ... and so on. and so on ... - None of this will work ...
    - Russia cannot build up its power in any way ... - neither economic; nor the military ... - so that at least they would be afraid of her ... - and then they will cease to be afraid ... - soon they will start clicking on the nose ... - and with the help of "yesterday's relatives" ... - Ukraine is already clicking Russia with might and main on the nose ... -and in response only political debates and exhortations ... -Yes, and "fraternal Belarus" on the same "approach" ... where Russia does not take and is not going to take any measures ... - thinks that everything will "resolve" by itself ...
  5. Dmitry S. Offline Dmitry S.
    Dmitry S. (Dmitry Sanin) 21 September 2020 15: 47
    ABOUT! Let's forget about "subjects"! Let's make everything objects of bargaining !. If the allies have forgotten about "objectivity", then the time has come for "democracy" - the merchant overseas appreciated, the people sold it. ... try to live in a country where you are eternally sold, according to the words "democratic" ?!