The US and Turkey ‘War’ Gives Russia the Historical Chance to Hurt NATO

Putin told Erdogan that Russia and Turkey are "on the same side" and Turkey considers buying military equipment from Russia while calling on boycott of all American products.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan

(— August 16, 2018) — The Trump and Erdogan conflict is actually an opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to use Turkey as a Trojan Hose for NATO.

As Bloomberg writes, this is an ideal opportunity for Putin to try to turn geopolitical movements into his favor, and get new allies. Still, not everything is easy.

Although Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have improved their relations, the Kremlin leader can offer little to reduce the economic pain of Ankara or convince others by the military strength of Russian forces to leave the NATO alliance and approach Moscow.

“Relations with Turkey are fairly constructive,” said Frants Klintsevich, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security in the upper house of the Russian parliament, adding “But in politics nothing is forever, everything can change. We do not build illusions.”

Turkey was strongly against the Soviet Council during the Cold War. As a powerful NATO member Turkey has welcomed American warplanes and American warships in the Black Sea. Due to new sanctions, Erdogan warned that the millennium alliance is in danger and that Turkey can start looking for new friends and allies.

The result of measures introduced by the Trump’s administration to Turkey intensified the crisis of the lira which is losing its value on a daily bases. Turkish President Erdogan immediately spoke to Putin on the phone, mainly on “trade and economic cooperation.” However, the deal involves military too.

Tensions further triggered Trump’s decision to impose sanctions against Turkey and to double tariffs for steel and aluminum. He also warned that it would be difficult to fix relations if Erdogan bought the S-400 missile system from Russia, for which Turkey already deposited the first down payment.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov completed a two-day visit to Turkey on Tuesday, and the visit included talks on conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, as well as economic projects, including a gas pipeline and a nuclear power plant.

Putin told Erdogan that Russia and Turkey are “on the same side” and last year he agreed to abolish most of the trade sanctions imposed after Turkey downed the Russian military aircraft near the Syrian border.

The economic vulnerability of Turkey means that US President Donald Trump “will probably win,” wrote on his Twitter account, Dr. Dmitri Vitalyevich Trenin PhD, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

“Erdogan will not leave NATO. However, Trump’s access to allies will have major implications for shaping the world order,” Trenin stressed.

Turkey’s president recently put a ban on the import of US goods and called for total boycott of products made in USA.


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