The Turkish grill: what did Putin and Erdogan in St. Petersburg

The apology is enough

The reconciliation of Russia and Turkey took place on Monday in the Greek living in the Konstantin Palace near St. Petersburg. President Vladimir Putin met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a smile and a handshake. Erdogan, during the press conference called Putin “dear friend”.

At the end of last year, the Russian leader called the action of the Turkish air force shot down Russian su-24 “stab in the back”. In the message to the Federal Assembly in December, the Russian leader promised that tomatoes (prohibition of supply, put after the downed plane) Turkey will not get off, and also talked about the fact that Moscow has reason to believe that the actions of the former partner was motivated by a desire to secure supplies of oil extracted by ISIL militants banned.

The incident with the plane at a meeting in St. Petersburg, the leaders described very sparingly. Putin at the beginning of the conversation with Erdogan (the leaders of nearly two hours talking with the participation only of Ministers for foreign Affairs and assistants, nearly the same amount spent with delegations, a working Breakfast, said about the “famous tragedy”, after which a relationship of “degraded”. Erdogan at a press conference said that negotiations take place for the first time “after the event”.

Both presidents chose on camera to talk about what brings them together. Putin recalled that he became “one of the first international leaders, expressed support for Turkish colleague in connection with the coup attempt. “This is our principled position: we are categorically against any attempts of unconstitutional actions”, — explained his call to Erdogan Putin. “Your call immediately after the attempted coup, and me personally, and my colleagues, and our people are very pleased”, — thanked Erdogan. We are talking primarily about moral support from the Kremlin, about any political and razvadovsky Russia in the suppression of the coup to say no, the head of the St. Petersburg centre of studying of the modern Near East Gumer Isaev.

According to Erdogan also indicated that the coup attempt accelerated the meeting: presidents outlined during the summit of “twenty” in China, but conducted before. Putin stressed that the visit of colleagues during difficult situation in Turkey confirms the focus on restoring relationships.

Condition for resumption of relations earlier, the Kremlin called the apology and compensation. A message of apology to Erdogan, the Kremlin has published 27 Jun. On the issue of compensation is still not reported at the end of June, the Turkish Prime Minister said that the payments will not. Assistant to the President Yuri Ushakov, announcing the meeting, said the issue of compensation can be discussed at the meeting of the presidents. However, following the talks, neither Putin nor Erdogan word said about it.

On the causes of reconciliation, Putin said deployed only at the very end of the press conference: “We have experienced a very difficult time in our bilateral relations, but we would all really like to overcome these difficulties in the interests of the Turkish citizens and citizens of Russia. The best interests of our citizens and countries need to restore the level of our relations.” Before the meeting, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet told the story of how put up the Russian and Turkish leaders. The restoration of relations between Russia and Turkey, largely due to the diplomatic intermediaries, the newspaper quoted the press Secretary of Erdogan Ibrahim Kalin. Mediators called the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Turkish businessman Javid Çağlar, the former Minister of public banks, familiar with the head of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov.

Back to the previous order

To recover the relationship will be phased, Putin said. He talked about that in the near future can resume Charter flights, will continue negotiations on the visa regime Russia imposed visa requirements for Turkish citizens after the incident with the plane), to discuss the question of the abolition of restrictions on recruitment of Turkish workers. The Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev told journalists that before the end of the year may be cancelled and an embargo on agricultural products from Turkey. Previously it was repealed the ban on the sale to the Russians of tours.

However, it is primarily the presidents paid attention to two projects — pipeline “Turkish stream” and NPP “Akkuyu”. The Turkish side, despite the crisis in relations continued the procedures for approval of new pipeline, Putin said. “With regard to nuclear power, Turkey has made changes in three laws, — said Putin. “We have put the question of granting this status to a project is a strategic investment and now hear a positive response.” The assignment of such status have been waiting for the last two years.

This time, Erdogan promised that the project “Turkish stream” will be implemented. About a new energy project, Putin announced in Ankara in December 2014. It was also announced the suspension of work on South stream because of the opposition of the Bulgarian authorities, acting under pressure from the EU. On Monday, Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov said that his country is still interested in the project. But Russia, as Putin said, you now need “concrete guarantees”.

Caution on Syria

Now for Moscow and Ankara the number one topic in politics is Syria, said the Deputy Director of the heritage Institute, the Eugene Borawski. But the Syrian question was not discussed at the first part of the negotiations, he was left on the evening round, said the leaders. Recently, erdoğan claimed that the solution to the Syrian problem “is impossible to find without the involvement of Russia”. According to Bagrickogo, the positions of the two powers on this question disperse, diverge, and will diverge, but to achieve some compromise possible.

The key point of the Syrian campaign is now the battle for Aleppo is the largest agglomeration of the country, where urban fighting between the government army, supported by Moscow, and the armed opposition is receiving aid from Ankara. Turkey with Aleppo connects straight road, and its floor is vital for the army of Syria, and the free road is strategically important for the rebels as a way of delivery of the equipment.

In second place in relations of Moscow and Ankara is the question of the Caucasus, said Gumer Isayev. Erdogan announced the launch of a mechanism of trilateral format — Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. “We view it very positively,” said he, however, further explanation is not given, and Putin, this issue was not commented on. Earlier, the head of Center of Asia and the Middle East RISS Anna Glazova noted that cooperation between Moscow and Ankara would affect peace in the Caucasus. It is characteristic that another outbreak of war in Nagorno-Karabakh occurred during the cold war between Russia and Turkey.

On the one hand, said Isayev, this format can be used to representatives of different sides of the conflict sat down at the negotiating table and find a compromise to solve their regional problems. On the other hand, a similar mechanism can be used to make countries of the West beyond the settlement of conflicts in Transcaucasia.

Putin and Erdogan also agreed on the resumption of the work of all the negotiation formats, is frozen at the time of the crisis, including at the level of heads of States. At the strategic level to talk about “refocusing on Russia” or Ankara’s departure from the community of the NATO countries at least hastily, says expert-the expert ECFR Asli Aydintasbas. “Despite shaft problems, Turkey’s relations with the West are expressed in close political and economic relations, which are supported by decades and are fundamental, — says the expert. Do you understand if Ankara will change NATO, the SCO or the EU to the Eurasian economic Commission: the country is too integrated with Western economies and integrated into the Transatlantic security system for such a sharp turn”.

The meeting of Putin and Erdogan. Experts on the outcome of negotiations
Guests: Rajab Safarov, President, Russian Center of studying of modern Iran; Alexander Kurdin, head of the ATS under the Government of the Russian Federation; Aleksandr Gusev, Director of the Institute of strategic planning. Video: Channel