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Wednesday, 25 April 2018


Tbilisi jealous of Ankara’s attention to Moscow

2011-01-24 19:19

12635.jpegTurkey meets Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. As a member of the Joint Strategic Planning Group he has already discussed a number of important issues with his counterpart Ahmet Davitoglu. In addition to abolishment of visa regime between two states, the sides talked about the situation in South Caucasus, reconciliation in Cyprus and the Middle East as well as other problems. Saiid Jalili, Iran's National Security Supreme Council secretary and Katherine Ashton, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy will soon join the ministers. Georgia is not expected at the "feast". But now Saakashvili is more concerned over seeds and eco-art


paying little attention to close contacts between his former allies and Moscow.

The Joint Group is a format for discussing international agendas of top-level Cooperation Council led by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A year ago Yerevan, Moscow and Ankara were discussing points of contact such as the Nagorny Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Turkish relations.

This time Lavrov and Davitoglu made the situation in South Caucasus the topic of discussion sticking safely to the predefined line. Both FMs agreed on one undisputable fact: all conflicts in the region must be solved peacefully. Both Ankara and Moscow consider the situation in Nagorny Karabakh as most important. 

By the way, this meeting made neighboring states quite nervous. Armenia, dissatisfied with Russia's benevolence toward the Turkish Republic with whom Yerevan keeps the borders locked, got ready to listen to a new set of recommendations. Last year the head of Russian ministry of foreign affairs advised that the Armenian leaders make at least one attempt to find a common language with Turkish colleagues.

After Georgia abandoned its intention to act as an intermediary in Nagorny Karabakh conflict settlement, the states of the region turned their gaze to the north as if by magic. It's common knowledge that Azerbaijan strongly believes in Moscow's ability to influence Russia's strategic ally and persuade Armenia to make concessions. Turkey, on its part, repeatedly promised to take part in all Russian oil and gas projects. 

No wonder that Lavrov and Davitoglu were actively discussing trade and economic partnership including energy cooperation in a number of significant joint projects like construction of Akkuyu nuclear station, Southern Stream gas pipeline and Samsun-Jeikhan oil pipeline.

Knowing the context it becomes evident that suspension of Armenian-Turkish armistice is deceptive. Quiet diplomacy led by the key country in this triangle can bring drastic changes to South Caucasus.

Georgia, uninvited to the talks whose relations with Russia were not discussed in Istanbul, laments quietly. Had Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze been slightly more active, he would have been invited to Turkey together with his Azeri counterpart after Sergey Lavrov. But on the other hand Armenia treats Sakartvelo indifferently, and discussing the issue in Tbilisi-Ankara-Baku triangle could threaten of new calls to create a confederation.

Remarkably, Russian group Gazprom was given good conditions to buy Azeri gas long ago. Yerevan hopes that indirectly Russia will put pressure on Turkey that openly supports Azerbaijan.

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