Originally appeared at Rusplt, translated by Comrade Korolyov exclusively for SouthFront
A sudden, however insincere apology made by Turkish president Erdogan for a destroyed Russian Aerospace Forces bomber Su-24 is valuable not just because of its pure existance. It has a useful side effect, that people who follow Russian inner politics will enjoy. Everyone could once again see that principiality is not a marketable good there.
We are talking, of course, about our officials’ reaction to the apology, our official individual representors and even whole ministries. The big news is: the Turkish leader, tortured by Russian sanctions, decided to give up and select a peacemaking route, but to be more exact – he simply declared his intentions without any physical follow up.
But, we forgave Turkey already. At yet another assembly of the Russian government, prime minister Medvedev declared that it is necessary to cancel the sanctions against Turkey step by step. It is interesting, that on 26 November 2014, 2 days after the Turkish provocative action, the prime misiter announced the coming sanctions as measures to cancel out another national threat. He stressed, the WTO rules allow a country to do this. Because of this, we have one question we want to ask Dmitriy Anatolievich Medvedev: is the threat over? And if there was no threat, why quote WTO rules as if you are making excuses noone knows who for?
Considering this, “Rosturism” ‘s position is a separate subject for conversation. It seems, nothing has changed. In November 2015 banning of the charters was based on “conditions in Turkish Republic that negatively affect the ability of the Russian Federation to care and look after its citizens who are currently in Turkey”. But now, in June 2016, in a new press release by “Rosturism”, it says nothing about the flights becoming less dangerous, but rather says the restrictions will remain until “an official order comes through”. Does the order ensure our safety if decide to travel to Turkey, or?..
Head of Crimea Sergei Aksenov commented on prospective relations with Turkey with the same vaige wording. We remember, that the day after the shooting of the Russian warplane Sergei Vasilievich was extremely harsh in his comments that called for ceasing any contact with Turkey and noted that Crimea already decided to stop all relations with Ankara: “We cannot support a country that kills our citizens”. But, as Erdogan “apologised”, here is Sergei Vasilievich’s new statement:”Main relations with Turkey have been stopped. But we are waiting for the president’s statement on the issue”. So, what are we waiting for? The course is set to make peace – but this won’t bring back the dead Russian pilot. Same as it won’t allow the FSB to crawl into Erdogan’s brains and find out what he REALLY thinks about this situation.
Probably, the person who wishes she knew what was going on inside Erdogan’s head is the official spokesman of the Russian External Affairs Ministry. As she comments an entertaining change of Turkish heart when it comes to the aircraft, she said that words are not enough, even though Russia “will consider” this first positive step to normalise the Russo-Turkish relations. All would have been fine if not the memory of what was said by her in November last year:”If the people conducting a counter-terrorist operation were attacked by a country, how else are we to interpret such actions? Only as aiding international terrorism at one’s free will”. As it turns out, there is another way – to understand and forgive.
It is now offered to Russia to forgive and understand all those government workers, who, as Russia was speechless in shock after the backstabbing action by “yours truly” Turkish Republic, said a lot of nasty and harsh things and now are forced to at least polish their statements up. Even Alexei Kudrin then joined the pro-sanctions ranks, even though he said they shouldn’t be economic.
But the all-time favourite of this “changing the shoes while in midjump” competition is, of course, Vladimir Vol’fovich Zhirinovskiy – here is where we truly see a change of heart – from the depth of Mariana trench to the peak of Everest. Day after the Su-24 was shot down, LDPR’s leader declared to the world that “Turkey is enemy number one, we need to strangle and crush it” and the day after that he proposed to the Red Army to exterminate Turkey with a nuclear strike.
Just as he was brutal and merciless towards them then, he is loving and forgiving to them now: “We need to forgive… It is beneficial to us, if they are to respect and love us”. More to that, according to him, the day is nearing when Turkey will be close to Moscow – even closer than Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, it will exit NATO and join Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Of course, we can always say that changing one’s words and opinions every now and then is normal for international politics, specifically Erdogan himself have confirmed it numerous times. No matter how radical he is towards Russia, how obviously upset and disturbed he is by the fact that Turkey just doesn’t have the juice to affect Russian actions in the region or to ignore Russia’s demands for apologies.
We should be mindful that on 24 November 2015 a Russian warplane that was conducting a counter-terrorist operation, it wasn’t flying into Turkey, it just brushed the border from the Syrian side for a second. A pilot died, that was playing his humble role in a major anti-terrorist operation, he was shot from the ground.
This is why we are to expect this change of Turkish heart in the face of Erdogan’s however fake “apologies”. It’s natural.
But to see this change of heart from Russian politicians – this is plain wrong. At least until Ankara does something substantial and not just apologise through its teeth. And that didn’t happen yet.