Turkish-Russian Alliance: Perspectives and Problems

  • Politics - 29 July 2016, 00:41
A lasting period of close and “hearty” cooperation between Turkey and Russia, as well as an illustrative period of the conflict between these countries was seen in Washington and European countries as indicative and significant in terms of the needs of both countries.

When one asks the Americans about their intentions to conduct a double containment policy in regard to Turkey and Russia, not surprise but a question occurs on how such policy is presumed and why such policy is needed.

In fact, the United States and NATO are conducting the same policy of isolation and containment towards Russia and Turkey, which leads both countries to identical expansion and resistance.

Russia and Turkey are different and at the same time similar countries. The problem of the West is to induce both countries to similar methods of interaction with the Western society. The problem is that Turkey is in NATO but this NATO membership does not prevent the alliance from implementing a policy of containment of Russia’s expansion. Moreover, Turkey’s membership to NATO does not prevent NATO and the United States from containing Turkey’s expansion in several regions, first of all the Near East and the Black Sea and Caucasian region.

The United States and NATO have successfully isolated Turkey from these regions and sufficiently blocked its efforts in the regional dimension. It will not be possible to distance Turkey and Russia from each other, these two big countries with developed armies and utilities.

It is meaningless and useless to contain them separately. It is much more useful to consider them as “one block” with “one destiny”. There is no need to exaggerate and consider these countries as one, they remain different and their military and political goals are different and controversial.

Both countries are interested in each other. However, the economic goals contradict to the political goals. The economic markets are each other’s continuation, and Russia and Turkey complement each other, leaving no doubt.

Both countries lost much due to the confrontation, and it was clear that they will soon overcome the controversies. The Turkish-Russian conflict did not just cause surprise but also lack of doubt that soon there will be reconciliation.

It was funny to view the situation of the Caucasus from the point of view of this confrontation. In that period NATO viewed the Caucasus as the continuation of the European geopolitical space and expected that soon this region will become compatible with the policy of Turkey and Russia.

The economic problems are sufficient for the reconciliation of the Russians and Turks but there remain political and military-political problems.

NATO is changing its attitude to the Black Sea radically, which will lead to change of the role of the South Caucasus and the Eastern Balkans. Ukraine will be significantly militarized and will become hostile to Russia. Georgia will be viewed analogically. The Baltic Sea will be reshaped similarly.

They want to lock Russia in Eurasia and not to let it out to the European space. It is possible to speak a lot about the role of the Europeans, on how the UK will behave but it is clear that aside from the defense goals which are becoming likeable for the Europeans, they understand that without the plans of “suffocating” Russia this civilization will remain at threat.

So what is Turkey’s role in this situation?

Turkey and Russia face full or partial political isolation in Europe and in Asia. For a long time Turkey tried to form new positions in the Near East and the Balkans but failed. Moreover, the countries which it counted on turned out to be Turkey’s rivals and enemies.

Turkey was mistaken in regard to the Arab countries. Nothing came out with Saudi Arabia, and Egypt stated bluntly that Turkey has nothing to do in the Arab world. There was a clash with Iran over Syria and Iraq, and Iran practically started cooperating with the United States, without complicating this business.

There is nothing Turkey can do but to move the Islamic efforts to the area of the Persian Gulf. However, since Egypt’s declaration the attempts to influence the marginal Arab states have failed.

All Turkey can do is normalize its relations with Israel but will this affair succeed? Although it should be noted that Israel builds its relations with the outer world mostly proceeding from the fact that it is developing relations with Russia.

The layout of the Israel-Turkey-Russia relations is outside the interests of the United States. Nevertheless, Turkey has always set up its relations with Israel with a view to closer relations with the United States or in connection with the attempts to turn to the United States for support.

But now this circumstance does not have a big role. The Jewish organizations in the United States are cautious towards Turkey.

Russia is now trying not to lose the positions that have lost their meaning – normalize relations with the United States with the help of Israel’s capacity. However, this does not work out in full, and it does not have a big importance even partly.

The United States is not Israel’s ally for a long time. The United States is a social chart with the help of which Israel can survive. However, Russia has become Israel’s ally. And in this region an obvious alliance or partnership Russia-Turkey-Israel-Azerbaijan is forming.

What has Russia gained over 10 years or the period of formation of a marginal bloc – the Eurasian Union and CSTO? First of all, it should be noted that Russia’s allies or partners, namely Kazakhstan, Belarus, proved evasive and poor partners which do not understand what they are supposed to do within these blocs. They are in a quest for other allies and partners.

Armenia was betrayed, Russia simply abandoned it. Now the Armenians continue to hide their hostility to Russia. This is clear even to the Russian agents.

Every partner of Russia successfully dies and begs from NATO. Russia failed to obtain partners in Eastern Europe, lost everything it had in Asia Minor and cannot get any new positions in the Near East.

They counted on the Far East, primarily China. But now they speak carefully about this.

There is nothing good in South Asia except Pakistan. India has become a regional partner to the United States and European countries.

There is no doubt that Russia is a more isolated country in geopolitical terms than Turkey which is, nevertheless, a NATO member. The Russians count on Germany but there was a time when Turkey did too and what happened?

Turkey proposes opening the borders with Armenia and claims that it may come to terms with Russia and Azerbaijan but this is hardly a realistic approach. Will Russia influence this Turkish proposal?

The NATO summit took place which the Armenian chatters do not consider as an important event but during the summit Turkey was proposed to adopt a resolution on not attacking Armenia unless Armenia attacks. In addition, it is proposed to resolve this issue unilaterally, i.e. without Armenia.

NATO does not wish Armenia’s participation because that would mean Russia’s involvement solely in an undermining and negative manner, as was the case in Zurich.

It is possible that Turkey pretends as if this resolution is “hanging” on Russia, it is possible that Russia insists on this because it knows what is on NATO’s mind, and is trying to bypass the alliance in this resolution.

However, the problem is that Turkey would not want a unilateral resolution and would like to involve Armenia in these relations, possibly at several stages, as well as in regard to issues relating to “territories”, namely correcting NATO’s intentions.

NATO’s intention will rule out Russia’s influence on Armenia, practically indicating Armenia’s withdrawal from its area of influence. The process has apparently started but currently a lot depends on Turkey’s conditions which have not been duly worked out yet.

Now it is clear that Turkey would not like to involve the Russians in this decision, and this proves that Russia depends on Turkey rather than vice versa.

Turkey was against the increased and permanent presence of NATO forces in the Black Sea for a long time, and Russia, understating this situation, was more than calm when a NATO member state spoke against NATO.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian situation occurred, and Russia tried to land troops in Crimea and Odessa. These intentions about which the Turkish intelligence was informed had a negative influence on Turkey. Time was needed to return the situation back to the former comprehensible relations.

Proceeding from the understanding of these circumstances, it is clear that Russia has stepped back. From what has it stepped back? Intentions relating to the Black Sea and the South Caucasus. Moreover, Russia has apparently decided to give up on many intentions, including the global ones.

However, Russia insisted on “apologies”, and it became clear that Turkey preferred apologizing instead of tolerating further deterioration of its economic situation.

Turkey also faced strong pressure from Europe which is indifferent to its problems and which is increasingly viewing its market as preferable. The situation in Turkey is mostly getting worse, and it is not finding possibilities to achieve its goals in the Near East. The reconciliation took place in this context.

However, Turkey’s attitude to the processes in the Black Sea will become different though earlier, despite the confrontation with Russia, Turkey did not intend to announce its readiness to put more pressure on this basin.

There is no doubt that Turkey will try to use NATO’s intentions in the Black Sea to put forth its claims to both NATO and Russia. This became the “main arena” of the “main game”, and the Turks will certainly play this game.

Of course, at the same time the Turks will try to use the game in the South Caucasus, first of all in relation to the Karabakh issue. Why not? Turkey has thoroughly studied Russia’s interests and intentions and understands what it would dare do in this situation.

For the time being, two topics are left.

What should be done with Georgia with its “NATO’s special partner” status?

What should be done with Armenia which signed in Moscow the criminal agreement with Russia on air defense?

Georgia has actually become a NATO “member” and is loyal to the alliance.

Armenia has actually become NATO’s rival (though why would Armenia ever fight with NATO?).