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Russia-Turkey coordination in combating terror gains importance — expert

July 04, 2016, 18:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Turkish-Russian normalization is caused by the need to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts, says an analyst

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© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. Normalization of Turkish-Russian relations is caused by the need to coordinate efforts in combating terrorism, including in Syria, head of the Center for Asia and the Middle East of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) Anna Glazova told TASS on Monday.

"The quick response to the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s message to the Russian head of state and his apologies suggest that the Russian leadership is interested in resetting relations with Ankara on regional security issues," she said. "First of all this is related to the situation in Syria." "Some of the statements by the Turkish leaders indicate that Ankara’s policy towards Syria and the course for Bashar Assad’s stepping down taken by the country have not resulted in success, but created a lot of problems for Turkey", the expert said.

In her opinion, it can be expected in the near future that the parties "will begin intensive consultations to coordinate their efforts in Syria." "It is not ruled out that Turkey will abandon its policy aimed at Assad’s immediate resignation and begin to coordinate its efforts with Moscow on the fight against terrorism, because over the last year it was Russia that has shown that it is the main country that really fights against terrorists in Syria", she said.

At the same time, the expert said, the issue of the Black Sea region’s security is especially acute. "There have been some statements recently that the crisis in Russian-Turkish relations may lead to cancelling the Montreux Convention, which is not beneficial for Russia," she said. "The warming of relations between Russia and Turkey is also connected with the need to preserve the convention clauses and leave control with the key regional players - Russia and Turkey."

The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits (Convention de Montreux) was signed in Switzerland in 1936 and regulates navigation of vessels in the Bosporus, Dardanelles straits and in the Sea of ··Marmara. The Convention restricts the passage of warships of non-littoral states or coastal countries through the straits in peacetime. The countries with access to the Black Sea in some cases can navigate their submarines, as well as large ships through the straits without tonnage limit, on the condition of compliance with the Convention’s requirements.

Turkey controls the compliance with the Convention rules. In a state of war or under the threat of war, it may allow or prohibit the passage of any military vessels through the straits. If Turkey is not at war, the straits are closed for the passage of ships of the warring nations.

On Wednesday, June 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Putin's call was a response to the message of Erdogan, in which he had apologized for the downed bomber and expressed an interest in resolving the situation. The message was received in the Kremlin seven months after the tragedy with the Su-24 bomber. After the conversation, Putin instructed the government to enter into negotiations with Turkey to restore cooperation in trade and other areas.

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