Why Erdogan’s proposal to ‘reconcile Ukraine with Russia’ will be rejected

Written by The Frontier Post

Peter Akopov

Turkey is ready to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. The Turkish President announced this during his return from a trip to Turkmenistan. Recep Erdogan says he wants peace in the region:
“Our position on the tension between Ukraine and Russia is known. We are for the domination of peace in the region, first of all, taking into account the issue of the Crimean Turks. We have discussed and are discussing such issues many times with friendly Russia, especially with Mr. Putin. We do not want this the region has become a region dominated by war. Let this region move into the future as a region in which peace reigns. We want this topic to develop in a positive direction. For this we are ready to both mediate and discuss this issue with the parties We would like to be part of the solution to this issue, developing a dialogue with both Ukraine and Mr Putin. “
Good offer? No – and in “friendly Russia” it will cause only the most negative reaction.
Yes, Russia also wants the Black Sea region (namely, Erdogan had in mind) to be peaceful. This is in the interest of all his countries. Of which Russia and Turkey are not only the largest, but also the most important.
Although Turkey is a NATO member, its relations with Russia under Erdogan and Putin have become much more serious and close – but there are other forces in the region. The external ones are Atlanticists, that is, the very NATO, of which Turkey is also a member.
Yes, Erdogan often pursues an independent policy – but in Russia they remember how in November 2015, after shooting down our Su-24, they began to call from Ankara to Brussels, to the NATO headquarters. Russia is ready to strengthen its relations with Turkey, to build strategic plans, but at the same time we cannot but take into account its belonging to an openly hostile alliance to us.
Hostile primarily because he has plans for Ukraine – a part of the Russian world that accidentally turned out to be independent and fell under the influence of the West. Attempts not only to consolidate the status of “Ukraine is not Russia”, but also to make it anti-Russia, to include it in its geopolitical space, are absolutely unacceptable for Russia. There is and cannot be any compromise on this topic with the Atlantists – Moscow will never abandon the course of Ukraine’s return to friendly, allied relations, to the geopolitical and historical unity of one big nation. Turkey wants to be a mediator in this process?
But here we do not need mediators – the best help would be refusal to interfere in Russian-Ukrainian affairs, and especially refusal from political and military support for Kiev. For example, from the delivery of Bayraktars. Russia does not demand that Ankara stop dialogue with Kiev, abandon the development of relations – however, it is fundamentally important for us that Erdogan understands who he is dealing with in Kiev, understands whose game he is helping by supporting the Ukraine project.
Or do they not know in Ankara that Moscow does not consider the Ukrainian authorities to be an independent entity, they do not know that the Russian authorities treat Kiev as Western puppets?
It is clear that Turkey has global ambitions – and this is actually good for Russia, because such plans are only possible with a strong and independent player. Russia does not dispute the existence of the Turkic world as a historical and cultural community.
Moreover, our country is partly a part of it itself, because many peoples living in our country are of Turkic origin. But Russia has a Russian world and geopolitical interests in the Eurasian space – and the conjugation, coordination of Russian and Turkic interests seems to be the most important task for both states.
Because playing off the Russians and the Turks, Russia and Turkey is one of the main goals of the geopolitical opponents of both our states, and here the weak link is not Russia, but Turkey.
We understand the importance of Turkey and are ready to take into account its interests, expecting exactly the same approach from the Turks. Is Turkey ready to reckon with Russian interests? As a rule, yes, and even where it is quite painful for her – as in Syria. Sometimes Ankara tries to probe the boundaries of a compromise – as, for example, it was with the idea of the presence of Turkish peacekeepers in Karabakh. The Turks did not appear in Karabakh – because it was unprofitable for Russia and did not meet our interests in the region.
Turkey and Russia have many overlapping interests, but this does not mean that our relations cannot be consistently close and strategic in nature. All that is needed for this is complete independence of the parties, a conscious choice in favor of cooperation and interaction and an attitude to search for compromise solutions in controversial issues. If all this happens, then no one will be able to prevent us from making sure that in the future Russian-Turkish ties will strengthen both sides.
And Erdogan’s proposal, for all his peacefulness, can be compared to Moscow offering Ankara to become a mediator in its relations with the Kurds. But these are completely different things – the majority of Kurds live in Turkey and are its citizens. However, not all Kurds think so, some are in favor of an independent Kurdistan in the lands of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. And Ankara itself calls them terrorists and fights against them in every possible way.
Russia is not going to not only play, but even touch the Kurdish card in its relations with Turkey (the problem of the Syrian Kurds has nothing to do with this). And it would be very correct if Ankara treated the dispute between the Slavs in the same way. Because the Ukrainian problem is not eternal – unlike the neighborhood of Russia and Turkey.

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