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Analyst: Warming in Russia-Turkey relations to persuade other countries to negotiate

August 15, 19:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the director of the International Institute of Newly-Established States, the future of the whole region lies within the triangle Russia-Iran-Turkey
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© Alexey Nikolsky/Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. The warming in relations between Russia and Turkey is capable of persuading the key powers in the region to negotiate and come to terms, the director of the International Institute of Newly-Established States, Aleksey Martynov, has said about the outlook for bilateral relations and the government coup attempt Turkey saw one month ago.

"The meaning of the warming in relations between Russia and Turkey is not active repentance of the Turkish state, although the apologies have been pronounced," he said. "The meaning is that Russia has managed to achieve the understanding of other key countries in the region regarding the need to seek agreement with each other. The future of the whole region lies within the triangle Russia-Iran-Turkey."

"The triangle is one of the most stable figures in geometry, in which there is no place for other world policy actors, including the United States," Martynov said. "This rings alarm bells. For the first time over 25 years the United States is absent from such a format in a region that it considers a zone of its strategic interests."

"The affair has gone very far. In Turkey, calls have been heard at a rather high level for leaving NATO," Martynov said. "That Turkey will not be allowed to leave NATO easily is a different matter. Turkey’s membership of the alliance is critically important for the United States."

"After the well-known events that led to the death of the pilot of a Russian plane Turkish fighters downed over Syria, after the unprecedented worsening of Russian-Turkish relations, which through Turkey’s fault had come to a point of being severed the public mind grew rather skeptical about the future of bilateral relations," Martynov recalled. "Now it’s one month since the abortive military coup in Turkey. Those events have fundamentally changed the way the Turkish leaders and the leaders of other regional powers see the current events. As is known, the driving force of that affair was outside Turkey, it was overseas. It goes without saying that this circumstance had a sobering effect on the Turkish leadership and the leaders of countries in the entire region of Asia Minor, Central Asia and the Middle East in general."

Russia and Turkey develop understanding over Syria and Black Sea

"At their meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9 the Russian and Turkish leaders discussed not only the economy," Martynov said. "One has the impression that the main issues on the agenda were Syrian settlement and Black Sea issues, to be more precise, Russia’s jurisdiction over Crimea. It looks like both parties have the understanding."

"In Baku, the negotiations by the leaders of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan on August 8 concerned not just economic projects, but also cooperation by the Caspian states, the vision of the situation in Syria and the future of Trans-Caucasia," Martynov said. "The situation in Trans-Caucasia was most possibly discussed with Turkish counterparts."

Martynov believes that Armenia "put the full stop at the end of this negotiating process when its President Serzh Sargsyan held talks with Vladimir Putin in Moscow."

"I won’t be surprised if Russian peacekeepers will appear in Nagorno-Karabakh soon and this will put an end to the confrontation," Martynov said, adding that it was his personal opinion.

"Nobody is capable of giving international guarantees. This explains why this complicated conflict, brimming with nuances, is going on," Martynov said. "Nobody recalls these days that the territories the Armenian side put under control at the beginning of the Karabakh conflict were taken over temporarily, until the emergence of firm guarantees in the negotiating process. In those days, at the end of 1980s and early 1990s nobody had anticipated that the negotiating process would last more than 20 years."

"The presence of Russian peacekeepers can provide tangible guarantees, should both parties agree to such a solution," Martynov said. "I believe that neither Iran nor today’s Turkey will come out against this. If so, Russia will be able to turn a new page in the history of a whole region of Asia Minor, Central Asia and the Transcaucasia, where our country plays a leading role.".

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