Alexander Rahr: Turkey is on equal terms with Russia, as it tries to cooperate rather than compete
The well-known German political scientist and expert Alexander Rahr gave an interview to Vestnik Kavkaza. He touched on the full spectrum of political themes between Russia and the Caucasus, as well as basic geopolitical aspects of the current world. We publish the fifth part of the interview, devoted to relations between Russia and Turkey and their positions in the region.
- Do you think competition between Russia and Turkey is possible in the Caucasus? Should we expect it, considering economic growth of Turkey in recent times?
- As we can see, Russia doesn’t want to compete with Turkey in the region. Russia admits that Turkey is a regional power and they have to cooperate. Unlike the 1990s it doesn’t see Turkey tries to take away some zone of influence from Russia. I think Turkey is on equal terms with Russia, as it tries to cooperate rather than compete. If NATO begins to weaken, that is quite possible, new forms of the Black Sea cooperation can appear. At the moment there is the following axis in the Black Sea region: the US, which influence on NATO strongly, Romania and Turkey. Russia is not included in the process. Ukraine used to be, no it is not. Georgia has intention to join it. However, Georgia has no military and political power enough to play a significant role. Turkey doesn’t want the Black Sea was a completely NATO sea, as it considers the sea as its own. Probably, even though Turkey is the member of NATO, some Turkish officials have an idea to divide the Black Sea space between turkey and Russia… not divide, it’s better to say to cooperate with Russia. The USA presses strongly. Turkey loses its influence. And a new union, based on energy components probably, can be real, but not now. In this union Abkhazia, for example, can be included, as it is the littoral state too. Someday Georgia can do it as well.
Interview by Orkhan Sattarov