Sergey Mikheev: Erdogan's apology is moral victory for Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin received a letter from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the Turkish leader apologized for the downed Russian military jet and expressed sympathy and condolences to the family of the deceased Russian pilot, as well as assured that Turkey will do its best to restore the traditionally friendly relations with Russia.
The director general of the Institute for Caspian Cooperation, political scientist Sergey Mikheev, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the possible meaning of these steps.
"As a minimum, the Turkish President's apology means that our position was correct. Whether they like it or not, it is a moral victory for Russia. Erdogan, in fact, recognized that this game was more than he can chew. No one knows how sincere actions of Turkey are, but it is important that Erdogan agreed to the fulfillment of our conditions and said that he want to normalize relations," the expert stressed.
"The negotiation process may start. We will see what happens, but at least Russia is able to start it from a more beneficial position. Turkey needs these relations more than we need – so let they think about how to negotiate with us," Sergey Mikheev explained.
The expert recalled that after a row with Russia, Erdogan appeared at odds with Europe and the US, NATO didn't support him either. "Turkey simply does not have the resources to play such a risky game. Erdogan went all in and lost. The modern Turkey is not the Ottoman Empire, which means the Turkish president needs compromises," he said, noting that this idea was confirmed by the signing of an agreement on normalization of relations with Israel, which was almost simultaneous with a letter to Putin.
"Now, despite the apology, it is pointless to count on the fact that Russia will pretend that it is unaware of anything. The negotiation process will start soon, but it would be unreasonable to expect that Russia will cease to undertake peacekeeping actions in Syria and forget everything. Apologies are likely to be taken by the Russian side, but there will be no such relations between the countries, as before," Sergey Mikheev concluded.