ArmInfo.The strategic support provided by Turkey to Ukraine does not at all mean that Ankara is ready to abandon tactical cooperation with Moscow. How far this cooperation can go depends largely on whether Ukraine learns to defend its national interests as uncompromisingly as Turkey is doing now, the columnists of the eurointegration.com.ua website write. "Calls for the lifting of sanctions against Russia, accusations against the West of facilitating the prolongation of the war and undisguised support for Russian companies in circumventing sanctions - all this is about today's Turkey. Against this background, generating benefits from the development of economic cooperation with Moscow and justifying this with the position of an "equidistant" intermediary in relations between Ukraine and Russia, Ankara is trying to maintain partnership relations with Moscow and Kyiv, at the same time earning domestic political points on this," the authors of the article note.
On the eve of the parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey scheduled for June 2023, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, against the background of significant economic and political problems in the country, has a recipe for victory, the implementation of which directly depends on Russia. Namely, in the opportunity to replace the lost European markets for Russia, in which Ankara sees a recipe for a quick economic recovery. In the first quarter of 2022, the volume of Russian-Turkish trade doubled, reaching a record high of $14 billion.
Similarly, according to the authors of the article, things are in foreign policy. And at a press conference with Lavrov, Cavusoglu outlined three areas that allow Turkey to remain a powerful political player of the "first echelon" in the region. These are mediation in peace negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the settlement of the situation in the South Caucasus, a cross-border operation in Syria in order to establish a "security zone" where part of the Syrian refugees can be returned. The success of all three provisions depends on Turkey's ability to negotiate with Russia.
Such changes in Turkey's foreign policy, which are problematic for NATO, carry even greater risks for Ukraine. In a situation where Ankara has already become a mediator in the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, the greatest risk for Kyiv may be a situation where the mediator, instead of a fair solution to the conflict, will first of all try to solve its own problems by continuing it. And this is in a situation where the West is unlikely to be able to help Ukraine - it itself has considerable problems with Turkey, which will only get worse.
According to the authors of the article, such a "four-handed" game, carries considerable risks for Ukraine, which has already faced an extremely difficult challenge: how to show Ankara its "red lines" without ruining relations with a difficult, but certainly important ally, considering that an acute conflict between Kyiv and Ankara would be a real gift for Moscow. Meanwhile, deliveries of Bayraktars, restraining the strengthening of the Russian navy presence in the Black Sea and participation in humanitarian initiatives still make Ankara an indispensable partner for Kyiv.
"On the other hand, Kyiv cannot afford not to react to the same operations of a strategic partner with stolen Ukrainian grain. In turn, self-confidence in the absence of consequences for Turkey of such an ambiguous policy is added by the awareness of its unique role as a country holding the keys in its hands to the Bosphorus for Russian ships and to the NATO for new potential members of the Alliance. In turn, maintaining partnership with sovereign Ukraine is of critical importance for Ankara. Given that the strengthening of Russia's presence in the southern regions of Ukraine and, as a result, the transformation of the Black Sea into the sphere of Russian influence carries direct threats to Turkey itself," the authors of the article sum up.