Russia and Turkey continue to normalize its relations amid active military operations in Syria.
On October 10, the World Energy Forum started in Istanbul. The event, which was ignored by many leaders, became a reason for the first Putin’s visit to Turkey after the crisis in relations between the two countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a result of which an agreement on the Turkish Stream pipeline was signed, as well as the Russian side announced lifting of the embargo on the supply of fruits from Turkey.
Judging by the agreements, the Russian-Turkish ‘consensus’ on Syria remains in effect. Warming of the relations after a failed coup attempt in Turkey continues to affect improvement of both political and economic relations. The Russian Gazprom energy company will receive the coveted pipeline, laid through the territory of Turkey, and Turkey will receive a discount and lifting of some part of the economic sanctions.
The tactical partnership with Erdogan in Syria gives Russia an opportunity to demonstrate a failure of the US strategy aiming to isolate Russia. It is remarkable that the sides keep a diplomatic silence, regarding each other’s actions in Syria: Russia and Iran have only criticized a bit Erdogan for the Euphrates Shield, while Erdogan has only scolded a bit Bashar Al-Assad for the actions in Aleppo. The fact that the sides do not take any decisive steps against each other once again shows that there are some unspoken agreements on spheres of influence in the country.
The agreements with Erdogan allow Moscow to to fight more effectively against the US-backed terrorists in the Arab country. For sure, Ankara, which remains the main logistical hub for militant groups operating in the country, can influence the course of conflict.
In turn, the White House has almost no internal levers to influence the situation. Deliveries of arms to ‘opposition’ does not work as well as before due to increased military involvemet of Russia and Iran in the war. This is why Washington is being pushed to take part in the Syrian conflict, directly . This may indicate that the conflict is heading to a new phase of the escalation.