Russian-Turkish Treaty Refreshed

    • Comments - 08 November 2016, 22:00
The Turkish foreign minister Chavushoglu has made tough statements in Germany’s address which may cause tension in the Turkish-German relations. Perhaps, this is already the consequence of tension, not its cause.

In addition, it is notable that this growth of tension in the relations between Turkey and the West coincides with enlargement of the process of normalization of Russian-Turkish relations. In particular, Russia and Turkey are going to move on to restoring their defense cooperation. They are going to discuss this issue at the level of intergovernmental commissions, Russia intends to supply air defense systems to Turkey.

In this respect, a complicated and multi-layer situation occurs. Russia may supply air defense systems to Turkey. At the same time, Russia has signed an agreement on the joint air defense system which, in the long run, is seen as Turkey’s territory.

Hence, the question may occur that will now sound not only hypothetical but also strange: can the NATO member state Turkey and Russia discuss together not only equipment but also a joint air defense system?

At any rate, if Moscow supplies air defense equipment to Ankara, it will turn out that the skies of both Armenia and Turkey are “under” Russian equipment and in this case the next stage may be Moscow’s proposal to Ankara to discuss the joint system.

Of course, there is no clarity whether Ankara will go for a defense deal with Russia. It is not to be ruled out that Ankara is trying to blackmail its partners in NATO, the EU and the United States.

However, at any rate, Turkey is “crystallizing”, and Russia is acting like an “oven” where Turkey is baked and crystallized.

This process indefinitely covers the Armenian problems too, hence it is not accidental that during the CSTO Summit in Yerevan the Russian foreign minister refreshed the core idea of football diplomacy coming from Russia: Armenia cedes territories and Turkey opens the border.

In reality, this is not a Turkish-Armenian normalization but another Russian-Turkish deal at Armenia’s expense or refreshing of the 1921 treaty.

If the Russian-Turkish relations take a positive turn, the prospect of the Armenian-Turkish relations will appear in the margin. Turkey needs Russia to suffocate the Armenian issue, Moscow needs the relations with Turkey to prevent independent “Armenian-Turkish relations” that may make Moscow irrelevant in Armenia and the Caucasus.

Hence, what is currently happening in and around Turkey will be reflected in the form of more hazy perspective of Armenian-Turkish normalization. It is hard to tell how the West may put pressure on Turkey to force it into relations with Armenia. At least, after the resolution on the Armenian genocide passed by the German Bundestag the answers of the West to Turkey make it clear that Ankara is urged to go for normalization with Armenia without preconditions.

In this context, Russia proposes an alternative to Turkey, namely to resolve the issue of the Armenians by agreeing with Moscow, using Moscow’s influence on Armenia.

For the time being, Turkey chooses this option, and it is not ruled out that discussions with Moscow on its promotion have started. In this context, Azerbaijan has intensified its military activity.

In addition, this is the smallest metastasis in the normalization of the Russian-Turkish relations. The deeper this relation, the more painful these regional metastases will be.

What should Armenia do in this case? Over 25 years of its independence Armenia has not developed its doctrines on Turkey and relations with Turkey. In fact, all the approaches used by Armenia stemmed from the interests of Russia and the Russian-Turkish treaty, having a short-term relation to the Armenian state.

Although, this reality is typical of all strands. The point is that such situation results from the lack of clearly defined interests and security doctrines of the Armenian state, at both the state and political levels. When the principal interests have not been defined clearly, the required positions in key directions cannot be defined, especially in diverse scenarios.

At the same time, the factor of the Diaspora played a destructive role, including in the context of the Armenia-Diaspora relations.

In this situation, Armenia can only hope that the West will continue to contain Turkey otherwise the consequences of the zeal with which Russia rushes to make friends with Turkey are inevitable.