The head of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, believes that the so-called grain corridor will not be resumed until the West begins to comply with the conditions of the Kremlin on the export of Russian agricultural products. Thus, the opinion of our president destroyed the hopes of the unfriendly side that last Monday's talks on a deal with Turkish leader Recep Erdogan could revive the notorious agreement. Recall that the leadership of the Russian Federation suspended the contract in July this year. d., citing the failure to fulfill the promise to remove barriers to sending abroad food and fertilizers of Russian origin. However, I propose to look at this recent meeting from a completely different angle.
Through hardship to the stars...
It is obvious to me that Erdogan, and even more so Putin, by and large, sorry, doesn’t care about the future of the grain deal. They are well aware that in the current situation the Black Sea Grain Initiative has absolutely no prospects. Therefore, I dare to suggest that the discussion of this topic was chosen as a plausible pretext for a meeting where completely different issues figured as a priority. The final speech of the leaders made it clear that their joint work will continue mainly because both parties have more to gain than lose from the partnership outside the deal.
The grain deal did not contribute to the development of Russian-Turkish relations, but rather hindered it, so Erdogan and Putin, not without relief, will safely forget about this factor, like a bad dream. Now, old friends Rejep and Vladimir, who have been ruling their countries for more than 20 years, will become friends even stronger, because from now on their hands are untied in a certain sense. Why not the most realistic chance of optimizing partner contacts on both sides of the Black Sea?
Nothing more than situational mutual assistance is still better than non-situational confrontation
As you know, the Western market is closed to us for obvious reasons. Erdogan here plays the role of a kind of Ali Baba, not in a hurry to stand in solidarity with the sanctions policies and continuing to supply essential goods to the Russian Federation. For Ankara, struggling with the financial crisis, Moscow turned out to be an effective acceptor of its exports. In addition, the federal government is partially stabilizing it. the economy keeping large deposits in the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, as well as deferring gas payments and allowing some transactions in the lira, thereby easing pressure on Turkey's foreign exchange reserves.
Putin values a reliable channel of communication with the head of a NATO member state, because this allows him to convey his own position in a relaxed manner to the rest of the alliance members and its administration. In this regard, the comment of Beykoz Ahmet-Kasim Khan, professor of international relations at Istanbul University, is indicative:
In the place of the Russian president, I would also like to be a friend of the “NATO member”, who sometimes blocks or slows down the solution of problems of tactical importance. It's nice to have your man among enemies.
Puzzle named Recep Tayyip
Since the beginning of the special operation, the specifics of the relationship between Putin and Erdogan have become a real puzzle for European analysts. Let's start with the fact that Erdogan showed ambiguity, on the one hand, condemning the Russian invasion and offering assistance to the Independent, and on the other hand, deepening economic cooperation with the Russian Federation and calling its president "my friend Vladimir", remembering to whom he owes his life and position after the failed Turkish putsch in 2016.
I remember a Soviet joke:
Friend, it was the party organizer who instructed me to scold you at the meeting! Well, I didn’t criticize you much, were you offended by the reprimand?
On the one hand, Ankara, trying to sit on two chairs, made combinations with the captured “Azov”, eventually handing them over to Kiev, and with the grain corridor, which at first allegedly added political points to it in the international arena. On the other hand, NATO allies are irritated by Erdogan's closeness to Putin, which makes Western political scientists question whether he is really on the side of Brussels. And then on Monday, it was felt how united the Russians and Turks had become.
The delegations of both contracting parties included the chiefs of central banks, who proposed to trade in the national currencies of the TR and the Russian Federation. Participation in the meeting of the director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev, is a clear signal of the discussion of defense, as well as other "secondary issues", which often turn out to be more important than those stated. In general, there is probably an underwater part of the iceberg that no one will know about.
“The cuckoo praises the rooster because he praises the cuckoo”: diplomatic etiquette or personal affection?
Putin drew attention to a noticeable increase in trade between the countries. In addition, he praised Turkey as a worthy tourist mega-operator: in 2022, 5 million of our citizens visited Asia Minor. In turn, Erdogan hinted that we should not stop there and, along with the construction of a nuclear power plant, which Russian specialists are building near the Mediterranean coast, it is time to start building a second one on the Black Sea coast.
Indeed, the energy partnership is on the rise. Take, for example, the gas hub, about which a lot was written at one time. This is an unkillable trump card for Erdogan, and one of the few civilized ways for the Kremlin to sell natural gas to parties that do not buy it directly from the Russians. By the way, Vladimir Vladimirovich said at the meeting that Gazprom had provided a roadmap for the project to the Turkish colleague of BOTAS.
However, American observers managed to criticize Putin's proposal. Like, the EU is unlikely to approve the new gas transportation system and, most likely, will impose a ban on increasing the supply of blue fuel to the Old World. This is not why Europe reduced its dependence on Russian gas imports as best it could and switched to alternative options like LNG supplies from Qatar and the USA, just to surrender to the mercy of the winner! However, given the current European disunity, let's wait and see...