This is his first trip abroad since the failed coup of 15 July. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday 9th August. Since November, relations between the two countries have been stormy: the destruction of a Russian fighter plane by the Turkish Air Force had caused an escalation between Ankara and Moscow. Reconnecting with Russia, a diplomatic challenge for Turkish President disappointed by the European Union and the United States.
There are a few weeks, there had been the letter Erdogan sent to his Russian counterpart. Turkish President heard round the corners and turn the page of a costly diplomatic confrontation. Next step on Tuesday, the two heads of state will meet in St. Petersburg.
Erdogan in Russia while the domestic context is critical in his country. For the Kremlin, this Moscow visit reveals the strategic importance for Ankara. The topics to be covered are numerous: the Syrian file first, which continues to divide the two countries, possible compensation after the destruction of the Russian plane and of course the resumption of economic relations.
The two leaders would also discuss energy cooperation. ” Russia is an important source of energy imports , says Ilya Lazarev, an economist at Natixis joined by RFI. There is already a pipeline called Bluestream and there are plans to eventually build another pipeline, Turkish stream , which is currently suspended, but that would be very beneficial for Turkey, since it is dependent on energy imports. ”
After the attempted coup, Erdogan felt let down by the European Union and the United States. He however praised the reaction of Vladimir Putin brought her clear support. This meeting with Putin therefore falls straight to the Turkish President who seeks allies.
change in strategy?
However, Behlül Özkan, a political science professor at Marmara University in Istanbul, this merger does not mean a change in strategy on the part of Ankara. ” The relations between Turkey and Russia have been very bad during the last ten months, he says. The reason is that Turkey supports the opposition in Syria against the regime of Bashar Assad and Russia, it is one of the main international allies of the Damascus regime with Iran. ”
For him, this visit, scheduled elsewhere before the attempted coup in Turkey, does not mean that Ankara is now turning to Moscow and away from its Western partners, ” especially because of the economic relations Turkey. Over 40% of Turkey’s trade agreements have been signed with the European Union partner. There is much European investment in Turkey and the United States are also an important economic partner. The Turkish economy is really tied to the West , “the researcher slice.
Besides the privileged relations of Turkey with the West in the context of NATO, which it joined in 1952. ” There is no debate within the Turkish government on a possible departure of NATO and a possible rapprochement with Russia ensures Behlül Özkan. It’s just not possible. “