Skripal case is payback for Russia's Middle East policy

Skripal case is payback for Russia's Middle East policy

Trilateral summit on Syria can grow into a more extensive format of cooperation between Iran, Turkey and Russia, deputy director of the Center for Study of Contemporary Turkey Faridun Usmonov said, commenting on results of meeting between heads of guarantor states of the Astana process in Ankara.

Expert sees prospects for cooperation in military and economic spheres. "If you pay attention to trade numbers between countries, you can see that trade is not balanced. For example, the level of trade turnover between Iran and Turkey in 2001 was $1.2 billion, in 2014 it reached $22 billion. At the same time, trade turnover between Russia and Iran is just $1.8 billion. It's obvious that trade relations between Russia and Iran are at a low level, while Iran and Turkey cooperate much more seriously than Russia cooperates with Iran. However, Vladimir Putin mentioned that while last year trade turnover reached 22 billion, it's less compared to 2008, when trade turnover between Russia and Turkey reached its peak - $38 billion. It's obvious that right now we're far from it," Faridun Usmonov said.

Commenting on the results of this summit, Orientalist, head of the Society of Friendship and Business Cooperation with Arab Countries Vyacheslav Matuzov focused on political component: "It's an obvious step forward in Russian foreign policy on the southern borders, in its relations Iran, Turkey, and the entire Middle East. When we're talking about consent, for example of Syrian opposition, to participate in the process organized by trilateral group, we must bear in mind that there are forces that oppose this process. Initiators wanted to create a broad international platform with participation of the Arab states. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were invited, but it was mostly an appeal to the US, to Europe, because Americans have certain influence in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, so it would be a big mistake to lead a total war without taking the factor of US policy into account."

According to Vyacheslav Matuzov, meeting in Ankara showed that the Turkey-Iran-Russia alliance has strengthened: "Each country has its own interests, but we need to find compromises. We made huge progress in the Middle East. And everything that happens, including the Solbsery incident, shows that we're paying for our policy in the Middle East. We hindered America's global plan for reconstruction of the Middle East, helped Syria to fight against the Daesh invasion, against the Jabhat al-Nusra (banned in Russia), which are backed by the US special services. If we will think that we can reach agreement with these guys [extremists], then first we must reach agreement with the United States."

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