Zelensky's visit and Putin's harsh views - Will Turkey remain neutral or...? | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

14 May, Friday


Zelensky's visit and Putin's harsh views - Will Turkey remain neutral or...?

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As tensions between Russia and Ukraine rise, so does the political situation in the region. Now the direction of movement of the figures in the decisive chess game can be unexpected and instantaneous.

In fact, although the matter is of Ukraine's territorial integrity, the interest of other players in this war is immeasurable. Thanks to the support of these interests, Ukraine is signing the first war of the year.

Ukraine's other ally is Turkey. But how will Turkey, one of the leading countries in the region support Ukraine in such a period while having normal relations with Russia?

It is significant to note that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visited Qatar yesterday. After his visit to Qatar, Zelensky is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 10. The sides are expected to discuss the Donbas problem and a number of serious issues. Speaking about this issues, Professor of Kocaeli University in Turkey Irfan Kaya Ulgar gave an interview to Eurasia Diary.

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- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 10. What can be expected from this meeting?

- Firstly, I would like to say that this meeting has been planned well in advance. As to meeting, during the visit, the clashes between the separatists, supported by Russia, and the Ukrainian army in the Donbas region will be discussed. In addition, it is expected that the current situation of Crimea, which Russia has occupied in violation of international law, will be discussed after a deadly referendum. 

Besides that, talks will also be discussed working together on issues of economic cooperation and defence between Ukraine and Turkey. It is necessary to note that Turkey, in recent years, has been working together with Ukraine in the field of defence. This situation is closely followed by Russia. The Military Framework Agreement, which envisions cooperation in the defence industry between the two countries, has been signed on October 16, 2020. The agreement provides for the joint production of technical equipment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as well as the sharing of intelligence. Another of the Treaty aims to provide the purchase of Turkey’s Bayraktar UAVs by Ukraine. In Turkey to cooperate with Ukraine it is being closely monitored by Russia. The visit has meaning beyond the exchange of views on the regional issues of the two neighbouring countries of Russia. Because the tension escalating in the Donbas region is likely to escalate with the involvement of NATO in a way.

- First of all, Zelensky, who is on an official visit to Qatar, will meet with the Turkish Prime Minister. It should be noted that Qatar is a country with ample financial resources and has always stood by Turkey in terms of support. At a time when Ukraine is facing the threat of war, do you think there is a chance of trilateral relations?

Yes, it can be admitted that Qatar has a lot of financial opportunities. Today, Qatar has large investments in many leading Western countries. However, despite all these opportunities, I do not think that Qatar will interfere in Russian-Ukrainian relations.

In fact, the confrontation between Kiev and Moscow should be seen more as a reflection of tensions between the United States and Russia than a bilateral confrontation. Because the main goal of the United States is to control energy resources in Central Asia and the Caucasus. There are several steps they can take to reach this goal. One of them is the attempt of the United States to dominate the regions by jumping from one country to another, using it as a springboard. When we look at Ukraine, we see that the protection of territorial integrity comes to the fore. In my opinion, neither Turkey nor Qatar's strong support for Ukraine seems realistic under the current circumstances.

If Ukraine starts a war with Russia, how can it damage Turkey-Russia relations if Turkey has any support or close relations with Ukraine?

The prospect of war between Ukraine and Russia is strong. Ukraine hopes for the support of the United States and NATO in this war. However, it is not clear to what extent this support will be reflected in the square. During the Hungarian uprising of 1956, the West then guaranteed Budapest. However, when Soviet forces intervened in the Hungarian uprising, the West did not live up to its commitments. Such a situation is not excluded today. Russia is inciting pro-Russians and Russians living in Ukraine's east of the Dnieper River to revolt. We know that the Moscow authorities distributed passports to local Russians in the Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. Moscow wants to annex the Donbas region, including its surrounding regions. The war in the region will be a test for Joe Biden, who took office on January 20. We will see together how Biden will react to this incident, who reiterated that he would keep Russia under pressure for a long time and reduce its influence. I think Turkey will remain neutral in the war in the Donbas. Because Turkey's national interests require such behaviour.

By Elnur Enveroglu 

Eurasia Diary

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