Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turkey’s Erdogan comes closer to Russia | New Eastern Outlook

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is nothing if not a political survivor. After weathering a US led year-long attempt to oust him for his failure to execute a Turkish military ground war to topple Bashar al Assad in neighboring Syria, now Erdogan, a student of Realpolitik perhaps even more than the Koran, is looking abroad for new strategic allies. At a time when NATO, the Obama Administration and others are doing everything to demonize Russia’s Putin, using the pretext of Ukraine, Erdogan is moving significantly closer to—guess which world political leader. Yes, Vladimir Putin and Russia. The implications of a Turkish fundamental geopolitical realignment could have global consequences far beyond Turkey’s mere size or political weight.

The first steps to a closer economic alliance between Turkey and Russia came this past April, well after the illegal US-orchestrated coup in Ukraine and after the Crimean Parliament requested to join Russia, opening a flood of anti-Russian propaganda from the west. On April 21 Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz invited Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev to Akara to work out details of a major increase of Russian gas to come to Turkey via Gazprom’s Blue Stream pipeline. Turkey is already Russia’s second largest gas and oil importer after the EU. The two agreed how to increase the capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year, further adding to the economic ties binding the two historical rivals.

Joining Eurasian Economic Union?

Now Erdogan’s government is opening talks with Russia and other member nations of the Eurasian Economic Union to open a free trade zone between Turkey and the EEU countries– Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, according to Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev after talks with Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci on July 19 at the height of the NATO and Washington demonization of Putin and Russia and blaming them for the MH17 Malaysian airliner downing over eastern Ukraine.

“We have discussed the possible forms of cooperation, including the formation of a free trade zone between the Customs Union and Turkey. We have agreed to create a working group and to begin a more detailed discussion of these possibilities and prospects in September,” Ulyukayev said on the sidelines of the meeting of G20 trade ministers in Sydney, Australia. The talks took place during the recent G20 summit in Australia.

Complete story at - Turkey’s Erdogan comes closer to Russia | New Eastern Outlook

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