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The Turkish Gambit2009-02-20 09:57
Yesterday was the last day of "Security and Cooperation in the Caucasus" conference in Tbilisi. One of the hottest topics among the participants was Turkey's role in the new architecture of the regional security. It was not incidental. Following President Abdullah Gul's recent visit to Moscow the experts started discussing geopolitical alliance between Turkey and Russia.
"Turkey is trying to change its policy in South Caucasus; - Facto IA is quoting politologist Alexander Iskandaryan. - This is the context of its new initiative to create the stability and security platform in the region". According to the expert Ankara's policy in the region has been quite static so far. "Promoting the idea of the Platform the Turks are trying to adjust their policy and enhance their role in the region" - he sums up.
Obviously Turkey is trying to "adjust its policy" by reinforcing relations with Russia. It will be remembered that Turkey's president Abdullah Gul's recent visit and his meetings with his Russian colleague Dmitry Medvedev resulted in a number of significant economic agreements including construction of four A-plant units in Turkey and Russian electric power supplies for 15 (!) years. These agreements were not the only attraction of the meeting between two leaders making it so intriguing for many. "Our countries have a natural interest in pursuing security in the Caucasian region and ensuring proper security on the Black Sea, - Medvedev is quoted by Rosbalt. - We completely agree on a number of issues that might strengthen this security". Russia's President especially emphasized that he favored the Turkish initiative of Stability and Cooperation Platform creation in the Caucasus: "We see an opportunity of a closer dialogue and assistance in resolution of economic, transport and energy problems of the region".
Abdullah Gul was pleased to notice "considerable closeness of the countries in overall majority of positions". What can these indicative words of the two presidents mean?
Last August when the Turkish ships were in Georgian ports nobody could even imagine that half year after Ankara and Moscow would discuss long-term partnership.
It looks like the Turks are designing their own game which at this stage needs tandem with Russia as a future player in the Caucasus. Before that Ankara's main partner was Washington.
According to Ajar Kurtov, expert of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Turkey has realized that the situation of last August can have unfavorable developments. In the expert's interview on "Oruzhie Rossii" site the politologist noted: