Political part of the president's message was in line with mood of society
The announcement of the presidential address to the Federal Assembly at the Kremlin's St. George Hall was listened to by more than 1000 guests. There were no sensations in the political part of the message, but the words sounded in line with the mood of society. So the president said that the Russian army and navy have shown their readiness, their increased capabilities. Modern Russian weapons are effective, and the invaluable experience of its use in combat conditions is generalized and will be used further for improvement of our military equipment and weapons. At the same time, Putin said that Russia is not going to saber-rattle. According to the president, it is known "who fills his pockets in Turkey and gives money to terrorists from the sale of the oil stolen in Syria. The bandits recruit mercenaries with this money, buy weapons, organizing the inhuman terrorist acts against our citizens and against the citizens of France, Lebanon, Mali and other countries. We also remember that it was exactly in Turkey that the militants, who were active in the North Caucasus between 1990 and 2000, were hiding and getting moral, material support. Even now we notice them there."
The head of the Duma's International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said that "the foreign policy message has focused on four aspects: the need to create a common front against terrorism with the countries of the West and the regional powers, the need for isolation of terrorism, especially Daesh (no contacts, no business with, no use, attempts to use Daesh for their own purposes), the development of integration in the Eurasian region and relations with Turkey. Putin made it clear that the negative consequences of a hostile act, which pitted Turkey against Russia, will be very important. I think that these will now be the main directions of Russian policy: joint efforts, or at least the coordination of efforts in the fight against Daesh. This is the main task, the future of Syria and the future of the Syrian political process and the future of Iraq depends on it, and in general the future of the entire region. Putin deliberately focused precisely on this subject, because it now stands in the center of the practical efforts of the Russian foreign policy."
According to Pushkov, "The West, by agreeing with us about the purpose, is strongly divergent in the methods that should be used in Syria. But, as the president hinted, we will seek to maximize the unification of forces. Defeating terrorism alone is impossible, and our Western counterparts should realize it. The illusion that it is possible to implement separately from Russia is likely to be left in the past. Francois Hollande has already said goodbye to them, I believe that this is the way to go for other Western countries. But still the West is trying to pursue an independent struggle. Putin made it clear that this fight will have a lot of flaws, and will not be effective. The fight must be united, especially since this challenge is very large, very serious, both for the security of our country, and for the security of Western countries."
Commenting on the prospects for Moscow's relations with the South Caucasus states, Pushkov said: "These countries are very important for us because of the historical features that once we belonged to the single state, and the fact that we have much in common. We are allies with Armenia, we have exclusively close relations with Azerbaijan, they are certainly strategic. Telations with Georgia have not been fully normalized yet, but there is not that hostility that was distinguishing the foreign policy of Georgia during Saakashvili, so there is some progress too. These countries can play a very important role in the fight against the terrorist threat. They may become the subjects of the spread of dangerous trends emanating from Daesh. Therefore, they can play both a political, organizational and infrastructural role. The coalition, the common anti-terrorist front, mentioned by Putin, of course, needs the participation of these countries."
The head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, considers it essential that the Russian president did not speak about Turkey as a country and he did not speak about Turkey as a nation, "he found it necessary to emphasize that our relationship to the people of Turkey changes in no way, that we sympathize with this country, that we are interested in developing cooperation with the people who live in Turkey. But the public authorities in Turkey have, to call a spade a spade, simply betrayed our cooperation and our trust in each other. The cooperation with the Turkish elite, and part of the Turkish elite is openly collaborating with the terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq, is aiding terrorism, is impossible .... The Turkish authorities have shown to the world that for them the incident with the Russian aircraft was not a tragic accident, that they did not see it as anything extraordinary, and that they are going to protect their own interests by all possible means. Not their own airspace, I would rather emphasize, but their own interests, which are largely commercial in this regional conflict in Turkey, political in some sense. The Turkish elite is now trying to solve at the same time or at least to ease the painful Kurdish issue, but these interests are largely commercial, because the income from the oil, which is traded by the Islamist groups from Syria and Iraq, is unprecedentedly high in the history of mankind. The temptation to earn easy money on other people's troubles, on other’s tragedy for the many Turkish leaders, including senior executives, is irresistible. This situation is causing great concern. We see how powerful forces are now putting pressure on the Turkish leaders, as they are dependent on the pressure of the most powerful factors, they are not free in their actions. I am afraid that they will continue these actions, and therefore our counteractions, our reaction, our restrictions on the bilateral cooperation will continue and will, probably, only become tougher."
Speaking about the fate of the major joint projects with Turkey, Kosachev said: "These projects are now also at risk. As far as I know, the negotiations are now suspended in the nuclear sphere and in the sphere of gas energy. I would not like to believe that this is forever. There is an interest and willingness to continue to implement them on the Russian side, but the ball is not on our side and everything now depends solely on the actions of the Turkish authorities. If they continue to insist on their rights, if they continue to ignore the concerns of Russia, if they continue to deny the international community in total cooperating in the fight against international terrorism, the failure of these projects will be entirely on the conscience of the Turkish authorities."
Answering a question from Vestnik Kavkaza on how the UK joining the coalition will affect the situation in Syria, Kosachev said: ‘’We can yet hope that the UK will be a part of a coalition which is really fighting against international terrorism. In any case, this is indicated as the main purpose in the decision of the British Parliament on the military operation. What is confusing is that in parallel appeared statements by the British leaders, particularly the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, that the root of all the problems of Syria is Assad’s regime, that it must go and Russia should promote this. This was, probably, a hidden desire in parallel with the problem of terrorism on the territory of Syria to solve some other political problems associated with a change of regime in the country. If the actions of the British soldiers will go beyond the actual anti-terrorist operation, and again will spill over, as we have seen in the example of the actions of those same Americans, for supporting the armed opposition to the regime of Bashar Assad, it will be another fatal mistake by the West, it will be another gift to international terrorism, which has a stronghold on Syrian and Iraqi territory."