Will the stability of the Moscow-Ankara-Tehran alliance preserve?
Russian-Turkish contacts acquire unprecedented intensity. 30 June, a telephone conversation took place between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And in May they had a personal meeting. Now, as it follows from official reports, Putin and Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria.
Following this, the Turkish president received in Istanbul the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Turkish media reported that the negotiations were also attended by Defense Minister Fikri Yishik, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Hakan Fidan and Erdogan's press secretary. Details of the conversation are not given. But it is obvious that it was again about Syria. From this no one makes a special secret, because Moscow, Ankara and Tehran are preparing documents that will determine the boundaries of the de-escalation zones in Syria and the order of their control, which will be discussed at the meeting in Astana. It is also about the establishment of the National Reconciliation Committee in Syria. In addition, Russia and Turkey say that during the G20 summit in Hamburg, another meeting between Putin and Erdogan will take place, at which "some clarifying details" will be discussed. Obviously, Moscow and Ankara are either close to creating a single position on Syria, or have already formed it, and in the future can act in a step-by-step version.
Note that on the eve of the telephone conversation was also held between Erdogan and US President Donald Trump. However, according to the Turkish media, it was more about possible ways to resolve the diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf and "issues of combating extremism and terrorism." As for Syria, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis reaffirmed that Washington will continue to arm the Syrian Kurds after the operation in Rakka. Answering the question whether the White House is going to keep the word given to Ankara that the weapons handed over to the Syrian Kurds will be collected back, Mattis replied: "It depends on when and where the next operation will be conducted." Although Erdogan considers the support provided to the Syrian Kurds, "unthinkable within the alliance in NATO." As the Turkish Sabah newspaper writes in this connection, "President Trump continues the policy of regression in Turkish-American relations, which began in May 2013," "ignores Turkey's security problems caused by the civil war in Syria, leaving it in a situation of concern for itself, in a situation where "Russia has changed the game in Syria and the balance of power in the region." At the same time, according to Sabah, even if "Trump takes one more step forward, he will strike at the forces of Assad because of the" preparation of a chemical attack, this will not change the equation in Syria. "
Some Turkish experts who refuse to believe in such a "betrayal" of the US assure that from the point of view of Washington strategists the formation of the Russia-Turkey-Iran alliance is allegedly in line with the "long-term interests and plans of the US in Syria," dictated by "forced necessity, not preference, at the same time pointing to "a promising political instability in Turkey." But anyway, the Turkish president realized that the biggest risk for him and for the country is not Russia and Iran. The question is, is Ankara ready to go consistently along the path of strengthening and developing relations in an alliance with Moscow and Tehran, right up to close military-technical cooperation? The so-called "Syrian test" should clarify a lot in this respect, when a new game involving the problems of the political and diplomatic settlement of the Syrian crisis will begin with the introduction of de-escalation zones.
Former British diplomat and MI6 employee Alistair Crook believes that "now a possible prologue to something more serious is being prepared in Syria". The United States still retains a significant military presence in the Middle East and everyone can wait. Much, of course, will depend on how the meeting of the Russian and US presidents in Hamburg will take place during the G20 summit. As for relations between Moscow and Ankara, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak writes in this connection: "To date, the relations between Russia and Turkey, which developed with ups and downs, have turned into close cooperation thanks to the strong leaders of the two countries. Of course, this cooperation has boundaries. Because the Balkans, the Caucasus, Turkestan, and, of course, the Middle East are in the spheres of interests of both Russia and Turkey. In this connection, competition is inevitable. But even competing countries can develop cooperation and pursue a policy that benefits both sides. We can see this in Syria. With Moscow, we have more common points than with Europe. Therefore, identifying areas of cooperation and developing close relations in these areas will benefit both countries. " Add to these words to us while there is nothing.