Erdogan’s diplomacy with Russia warns Western FT

Turkey is a NATO member, but its president has taken a centrist approach to Ukraine

Western officials are “increasingly wary” of NATO ally and future EU member Turkey’s growing cooperation with Russia, the Financial Times reported. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently returned from Sochi vowing to boost trade after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Six unnamed Western officials newspaper They said they were “concerned” about Russia and Turkey’s plans to cooperate on trade and energy. One of her EU officials said the EU is monitoring Turkey-Russia relations “increasingly closely” as Turkey appears to be “increasingly” a platform for trade with Russia. rice field.

After a four-hour meeting with Putin on Friday, Erdogan welcomed Russia’s role in building a nuclear power plant in Turkey. The two countries are aiming for $100 billion in bilateral trade and are working together to combat terrorism and bring peace to Libya and Syria.

Putin promised Russia would supply Turkey with oil, gas and coal “without interruption” after the two leaders agreed that Turkey would pay part of the oil, gas and coal in rubles.

Another official told the paper that Erdogan’s actions were “very opportunistic” and that “we are trying to draw the attention of the Turks to our concerns”.

A NATO member since 1952 and an EU applicant since 1987, Turkey has broken with both blocs on several occasions, most recently over the dispute in Ukraine.

Erdogan has said diplomacy with Kyiv and Moscow is “balanced” and has refused to impose sanctions on Russia over military operations. Turkey is the only NATO member of hers that does not impose such penalties.

Erdogan also got the chance to host peace talks between the two countries in March, which ultimately did not come to fruition.But he has since won accolades for overseeing the negotiations that led to the resumption of grain shipments across the Black Sea from Ukrainian ports. first ship to carry Arrived Inspected in Istanbul by Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian and UN officials.

An official who spoke to the Financial Times said there were no discussions in Brussels about possible sanctions against Turkey, but that individual member states could scale back financial or trade cooperation with the country.Washington has warned of punishing countries that evade sanctions against Russia with “secondary sanctions,” but there is no indication that the US or EU will take this action against Turkey.

Ultimately, Turkey has enough clout to occasionally break with its Western allies. Although it has been able to extract concessions from the EU by playing a role in hosting some 3.7 million migrants who would have crossed into Europe since 2015, the strategic location of Incirlik in Adana Air Force bases are just a short distance from all of the most important locations in the United States. Recent theaters in the Middle East – Grants influence over NATO allies.

Despite heavy pressure from the United States, Turkey has integrated Russian S-400 air defense systems into its military, blocked Finnish and Swedish membership in NATO, and cracked down on Kurdish groups that the Turkish government considers terrorists. , trying to get both countries to participate. .

Currently, the only concrete impact Western officials suggest is for countries to force banks and companies to leave Turkey, but that is unlikely to happen, according to the FT.

“There are very important economic interests that would probably fight hard against such negative behavior,” said one European official, although he “does not rule out any negative behavior.” [if] Turkey is getting too close to Russia

( Erdogan’s diplomacy with Russia warns Western FT

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