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The Four Key Breakthroughs For Russia After the Putin-Erdogan Meeting

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The author is a popular Russian blogger

1. A signed agreement on the Turkish Stream (on the second try) in return for cancellation of Russia’s ban on Turkish fruit. The deal between Russia and Turkey on Syria remains in force: even in the event of further disagreements, it’s unlikely that Russia would replace the Turkish Stream, or that Turkey would protest Russian sanctions over its shooting down of a combat plane. A warming of relations after the failed coup in Turkey continues to improve both political and economic ties. Gazprom will get a long-awaited pipeline across Turkey, and Turkey will get a lifting of some economic sanctions.  

2. Politically, this tactical partnership with Erdogan gives Russia a chance to demonstrate once again the failure of US strategy to isolate Russia, Turkey, having been closer to the US at the beginning of the conflict. For a variety of reasons, it’s now getting closer to the Russian-Iranian coalition, both because of the war against the Kurds, and because of deteriorating relations with the US. Both sides’ diplomatic inactivity with respect to each other’s actions in Syria has been remarkable: Russia and Iran idly criticized Erdogan for the Euphrates Shield, while similarly, Erdogan scolded Assad for Aleppo. Neither side has taken any actions against the other, showing once again close agreement on spheres of influence in Northern Syria, where Erdogan is allowed to pursue his Kurdish policy in return for not preventing Assad from liberating Aleppo.

In the north of Syria, Turks and the Free Syrian Army are forcing the Caliphate out of Savran and Dabik. 

3. Considering this situation totally unacceptable, the West is having hysterics. By the end of October 2016, it has almost run out of bargaining chips. Given Russia’s and Iran’s growing role in Syria, neither arms nor fighters have the same impact. This forces outside puppets to come out from behind the curtains and become directly involved in the Syrian conflict, showing that despite the war continuing, its climax is near, as Russia consolidates its positions in the region. Having made deals with Erdogan, it can focus on pro-American fighters (in Latakia, Hama, Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta) and the Caliphate (near Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor). Along with the open-ended deployment of Russia’s Air Force from the Khmeymim airbase, a similar agreement on using the Tartus naval base will be signed soon, allowing Russia to continue its military presence in the region for years to come.

4. Against the background of France wanting to “investigate Russia’s military crimes” and threats of war from Washington, the deal with Turkey allows Russia to pragmatically do business with one of the sides in the Syrian war. Besides, Erdogan has recently ceded ground, (from an objectively weakened position), and Russia can ignore the American call for Assad’s resignation. Although Ankara is not an equal negotiating partner with Washington, it could change the course of the Syrian war in line with the Kremlin’s policy, (although Erdogan signed the agreement not because he wanted to, but because he had to). We need to be on the alert, but in general a “second honeymoon” between Russia and Turkey boosts Russian profits, which will used parsimoniously, both politically and economically.

All this will irritate the West even more, combined with its reluctance to accept the fact that Assad will not resign.

Source: Live Journal
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