Putin-Erdogan meeting in St. Petersburg: Economy before politics


The bosom meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish the man Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the first since the Turkish air force sniper down a Russian jet in November 2015, took place in St. Petersburg on Aug. 9. Analysts who forewarned that the talks would lead to serious breakthroughs in economic streams between Turkey and Russia were right.

During the press convention after the main rt of the talks it was announced that progress had been hooked in the two most important Russian-Turkish energy projects: the construction of the Akkuyu atomic power plant by Russian specialists and the laying of the Turkish Stream gas hose along the Black Sea seabed.

According to Erdogan, both projects longing be renewed and brought to their logical completion. Putin said that the compute construction cost of the projects amounts to several dozen billion dollars.

Trains surprised by talks

The construction of Turkish Stream is of rticular interest for Russia, since the tube presents a possible alternative to the Ukrainian transit route for shipments of Russian gas constrained for Europe. For now, however, talks are being conducted about two out of the initial four lines, those plan for delivering gas to Turkey rather than onward to Europe.

Opinion: Erdogan understands how he can use Russia to his advantage

Putin also reported that he intends to gradually lift the restrictions on Turkish com nies redundant in Russia. He made it clear that soon charter flights to Turkey command start operating again, something that the Turkish tourist commerce is extremely interested in.

In the opinion of Yelena Suponina, advisor to the director of the Russian Pioneer of Strategic Studies, all this bears witness to the fact that «the reestablishment of solvent relations is moving at a ce that did not seem possible in such fettles.»

Trade-economic relations between Russia and Turkey have become the immediacy, since this is the field that the countries find easiest for reestablishing complementary ties, said Vladimir Sotnikov from the Institute of Middle East Explorations at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

No romantic illusions

At the same time experts note that it may abuse a rather long period of time to return to normal full-fledged relations. In the not to beat about the bushes of Viktor Nadein-Ranevsky from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, in the construction cope with alone Turkey lost contracts worth $40-45 billion as a occur of the quarrel with Russia, many of which it will be impossible to survive.

It is also not certain that Moscow and Ankara will be able to re ration to the level of relations that existed before November 2015. According to Vladimir Avatkov, a Turkey schoolboy and director of the Center for Middle East Studies, International Relations and Mrs Average Diplomacy, after the incident with the Russian plane Moscow bequeath not nurture any «romantic illusions» in respect to Russian-Turkish relations and Ankara’s approaches. There will only be a precise understanding of each other’s avails.

Contradictions on Syria

Unlike the economic issues, talks on political questions between Russia and Turkey are not so simple. It is important to note that the obedient to of Syria was removed from public discussion: This issue was delivered after Putin and Erdogan’s press conference.

Russian observers element out that Moscow would like Turkey to close the Turkish-Syrian purfle so that Syrian Islamists can no longer receive reinforcements from Turkish region. Russian analysts believe that it will be exceptionally difficult to exist progress from Turkey on these issues, but some points of communicate with can still be found.

According to Avatkov, besides discussions on the Syrian puzzler, Putin and Erdogan must find some kind of mechanism in the follower of security that would prevent a repeat of the November incident. The following of Russian-Turkish relations depends on whether or not this mechanism will be bring about.

Opinion of a Turkish expert: A positive atmosphere

Kerim Has, an expert on Eurasian public affairs at the International Strategic Research Organization independent think-tank in Ankara:

“The most valued result of the talks is that the sides are again speaking of security outlets. Secondly, statements about economic cooperation are also important.

“Thirdly, it is critical that with the normalization of bilateral cooperation the sides will y assorted attention and make more efforts to guarantee regional security. This favour concerns the regulation of the Syrian crisis and the security issues of the Black Sea area.

“Fourthly, decisions in the energy field are also crucial. Now we can see that talks on Turkish Tributary are continuing. And finally, it is very important that the talks were imprisoned in a positive atmosphere.”

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