Turkey and Russia seek common interests

Monday, 2021-10-04 08:50:42
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Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Sochi, Russia September 29, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO - Turkey and Russia are witnessing positive changes in bilateral cooperation after the visit to Russia made by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. The two sides are closely working together in handling the Syrian crisis as well as seeking common benefits through a deal for the purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defence system.

At talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed measures to limit the resurgence of violence in northwest Syria and the possibility of expanding the contract for the purchase of the defence system between Moscow and Ankara.

The Russian president thanked the Turkish leader for the visit, which he called useful and substantive. The Turkish side expressed its desire to coordinate with Russia to maintain a ceasefire, paving the way for an end to offensive operations against Turkish-backed forces in Syria’s Idlib region.

President Erdogan emphasised the great importance of joint actions related to the situation in Syria and affirmed that the peace of this Middle Eastern country depends on Russian-Turkish relations. The Russian leader said that negotiations with Turkey on Syria are sometimes difficult, but the two sides have learned to find concessions for the common good.

To show goodwill in this regard, the Turkish military is withdrawing from the southern part of Idlib Province, while the Russian air force has carried out a day of silence in Idlib after nearly two weeks of air strikes on the positions of pro-Turkish militants here.

The contract for the purchase of S-400 missile defence system is also among the important topics on the agenda between the two leaders. Previously, in 2019, Turkey, a NATO member, purchased the S-400 system from Russia despite objections from the US, also a NATO member. This move seriously affected the US-Turkish alliance.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Ankara's defence industry and warned of further sanctions if Ankara continues to buy weapons from Russia. However, in a recent statement, President Erdogan announced Turkey’s intention to order further S-400 systems from Russia, and affirmed that no country can hinder Ankara's actions.

Despite the reactions from the US, Turkey has continued to push for steps to improve relations with Russia. The “win-win” relationship between Russia and Turkey helps both sides strengthen their position and influence in the Middle East in the face of strategic competition with the US.

THAI THANH/Translated by NDO