Kiev was counting on a strategic alliance with the Sultan.
How nice they started though.
In a New Year’s video, Petr Poroshenko listed the shoot down of Russia’s Su-24 by Turkey among the Ukraine’s achievements of the outgoing year.
At the end of January, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Alexander Turchinov arrived in Ankara for a working visit.
“Ukraine and Turkey have a unique historic opportunity to unite their political, diplomatic, military, technical, and economic resources to provide an effective and coordinated counteraction of power balance in the Black Sea region,” - he stated during a meeting with his colleague Saifullah Khadzhimuftuoglu. – “An important step is to demilitarize and de-occupy the Crimea.”
In response, Saifullah Khadzhimuftuoglu said:
“Our states need to play a leading role in creating an effective system of regional security. It’s important for us to combine our countries potentials, which could produce a very effective synergy.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin visited Ankara in February and Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Kiev to prepare a visit by Petr Poroshenko to Recep Erdogan. The Turkish leader met the Ukrainian President at the front door of the presidential palace. The national anthems of both states were played; the cannon fired a salvo. A guard of honor greeted Poroshenko in the Turkish style.
The presidents held a private meeting, then opened a meeting of the Turkey-Ukraine Strategic Cooperation Council. During the visit, a Declaration on Expanding the Strategic Partnership was signed.
There was ample evidence that a big new friendship between two countries was taking shape, not because of a centuries-old reciprocal passion, nor because of the mutual affection of the two presidents. It was a friendship forced by Vladimir Putin’s crossing off of the names of both presidents in his phone book.
It’s clear that this is a rather unsteady basis for a diplomatic relationship. Ukraine was naïve to think this was the way they do business in international affairs.
“We can use Turkey to create an international anti-Putin coalition, which would not only statements but also take practical steps to make Russia feel that the situation in its neighborhood has deteriorated by its fault. This can be an extremely important element in a confrontation between Ukraine and Russia,” – a seasoned diplomat from Kiev, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Ogryzko commented on Poroshenko’s visit to Ankara.
A famous Ukrainian expert Kost’ Bondarenko told the Ukraine-Turkey love story this way:
“Ukraine believed that the war between Russia and Turkey was going to happen. Many thought: “The war is going to happen; Turkey will win by no means, and Ukraine will take back the Crimea, and will also take Voronezh. Yes, it will capture the territory almost up to the Urals, and maybe even farther”. Obviously, one shouldn’t make such utopian plans in order not to become disappointed later”.
That’s why, for a long time, the Ukrainians couldn’t believe that their reliable ally Recep Tayyip Erdogan had written a letter to Putin to apologize. He had assured them that he’d split up with Russia for good, and is friends only with Ukraine! The winners of the Revolution of Dignity will never make up with Russia; they keep their word!
At a loss, Petr Poroshenko babbled something like the Turkish president called him and requested permission to write a letter to the Kremlin. However, even naive Ukrainians don’t believe it.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also disappointed Russians. In Russia’s thousand year history things like that have happened before. That’s why we understand that we only have two real allies – the army and navy. Recently another one has appeared – Russian Strategic Missile Forces. None of them will let us down.
As for Ukraine, it’s alone in the world.
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