Moscow and Ankara's relations are developing rapidly
Delivery of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 to Turkey will begin in October of 2019, Russian and Turkish news agencies report, citing Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. Preparation for deliveries will begin from the beginning of 2019. "As of now we're selecting personnel that will be trained in Russia. Upon completion of their training, they will manage these air defense systems," Akar said. Turkey and Russia signed a loan agreement on S-400 in December of 2017 and agreed on technological cooperation in the development of production of complexes in Turkey.
Vitaly Naumkin, scientific director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that Russian-Turkish relations are developing rapidly today: “I would describe them as complex with asymmetric elements. This asymmetry is currently dealt with, but some problems still remain. Our relations are influenced by all sorts of regional and global factors, since both Russia and Turkey are global players. Turkey is one of the most important partners of Russia, and Russian-Turkish partnership will greatly influence not only regional problems, but also situation in the world.”
According to Naumkin, the Kurdish factor is one of the biggest problems in relations between Moscow and Ankara: “Influence of this factor on our relations today has greatly diminished. It longer divides us. This is very important, since it also applies to Syria, where we managed to reach an agreement, overcoming the most difficult issues.”
As for other problems, associated with Syrian settlement, Naumkin considers situation in Idlib and creation of commission on constitution the most important: “Regarding both of these problems, we have already begun to overcome differences and develop cooperation. Russian-Turkish relations depend on humanitarian cooperation, relations between peoples of Russia and Turkey, as well as on strong economic cooperation. After all, economic interdependence means that both states are interested in each others' security, stability and prosperity. Russia has been interested in Turkey when it comes to these three areas for many years. I think that Turkey is also interested in this.”