New era in relations between Moscow, Baku and Ankara
Political scientist Burhan Ozkoshar, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the joint participation of the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev, at the World Energy Forum in Istanbul marked a new era in the trilateral relations of these countries.
According to him, this event was preceded by long non-public diplomatic work. "The crisis between our countries, provoked by the downing of a Russian military jet, was resolved after the parties have understood that the observance of mutual interests is more important than confrontations. Due to combined efforts of the mediators the ice between the two countries has begun to melt, and despite Russia's tough approach, diplomats have tried to show signs of a softer policy, because the conflict does not serve the interests of any country," the expert noted.
The need for emergency reset of relations led to the tripartite participation of the presidents in the Istanbul forum. "The presence of Putin, Erdogan and Aliyev at the energy forum in Istanbul was a new milestone in the history of relations. It is obvious that Russia has made the findings of the processes in the region – the failed military coup in Turkey and reports that a Russian fighter jet was shot down due to the order from Fethullah Gülen – and made positive steps towards Turkey," Burhan Ozkoshar believes.
Ilham Aliyev has played an important role in improving relations, the expert said. "From the very first days of the conflict Azerbaijan has assessed the situation, being involved in the reconciliation process. Even in Istanbul, it looked like Aliyev continues to contribute to the strengthening of the Russian-Turkish alliance, using his political talents and knowledge of the Russian and Turkish languages," he drew attention.
As a result, the parties managed to not only revive, but also fix the implementation of the joint project of the Turkish Stream pipeline. "Following the press conference of the p[residents it was clear that the parties are ready to forget the conflict and develop political and economic relations," Burhan Ozkoshar noted.
"This solution has a number of reasons: Russia feels the pressure from the EU due to the Ukrainian issue and it is also under pressure from the US on the Syrian crisis, and Turkey, in turn, cannot get an answer on the abolition of visas with the EU for its citizens. In addition, the EU does not fulfill its promise on the migrant issue. Ankara also is offended by the US due to the fact that it is helping the PKK," the political scientist listed the factors which pulled together Russia and Turkey.
"In this difficult situation, Turkey and Russia have begun to take steps, which will not conflict with their interests in Syria. As long as external factors do not change dramatically, the relations between Russia and Turkey will only get better. At the same time, we should not forget that the US and the EU will look for the slightest cracks in our ties to alienate Moscow and Ankara from each other," he warned.