What is not sweeter than radishes: mediator Erdogan and peacekeeper Wallace | Latest news The Moscow Post
01 June 2023

What is not sweeter than radishes: mediator Erdogan and peacekeeper Wallace

In the confrontation between Russia and NATO, new participants appeared. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and British military head Ben Wallace offer their mediation services to the alliance countries and Russia in the negotiations.

Russia's simple demand to implement the agreements on the non-expansion of NATO to the East continues to come across a blind wall of misunderstanding and provocation.

Russia requires legal guarantees from the United States and NATO to not expand the alliance to the east and withdraw its troops from the countries that were part of the Soviet Union, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.

In short, the demands are that NATO return to the lines of 1997, when the Fundamental Treaty governing Russia's relations with the alliance was signed.

Meanwhile, Washington again accuses Russia of escalating tensions on the borders of Ukraine, presents this as preparations for an attack.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the claims of the United States and NATO against Russia unfounded. During a speech on the site of the Valdai discussion club, he said that Moscow had repeatedly rejected the accusations of the West and Ukraine, saying that it did not threaten anyone. Moreover, the internal conflict in Ukraine arose largely as a result of attempts by the European Union and the United States to put the country in a position of artificial choice between the West and Russia.

Actors in the scenes

But the security situation in Europe is critical. Ryabkov said that the United States and NATO rejected the demand not to expand NATO, to return the alliance to the state of 1997. In this atmosphere of unpredictability, there has been a movement in the second series of countries claiming independence in international affairs. Among them are Turkey and Great Britain. This raises questions, if only because in the ranks of NATO it is customary to adhere to the principle of solidarity.

The Turkish President proposes that the Kremlin hold a trilateral meeting with the participation of the President of Ukraine. So to speak, provide a platform for negotiations. This was announced by Ibrahim Kalyn, representative of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace spoke of Russia's threatening behavior against Ukraine. Great Britain promised to supply Kiev with light anti-tank defensive systems, sent its instructors to work with the Armed Forces, and threatens with consequences.

The London Times writes in this regard: "Other European countries like Germany and France are full of desire to negotiate with Russia, but the desire for discussion must be combined with the willingness to speak harsh truth. But frankly, there is no certainty in their readiness for this. Paradoxically, Britain's antagonistic relationship with the Kremlin in this case is a plus. "

Both Ankara and London are well aware of the talks held in Moscow last week that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has scheduled a meeting with Sergei Lavrov in Geneva. They know, but they offer separate negotiations, as if it did not apply to the United States.

Diplomatic "sale"

The declared goals of Erdogan and Wallace coincide. Officially, they want to defuse tensions on the eastern borders of NATO, created with their own participation. For the public to show that they are able to dissuade Moscow from the power scenario, which she is not yet considering. Someone made this scenario the main topic for the Western media, Western politicians. Fake, planted by Bloomberg, picked up by official Washington, turned into "the main news," determined the international agenda.

What do Ankara and London really want? Overcome this malicious hype, or raise self-esteem, waste public opinion, show the ability to influence something? In fact, all this is similar to the behavior of the bazaar, to put it mildly. Come on in, talk about what's important to you. No obligation.

One could publicly formulate its own position on Russia's proposals, if any. But there are no hints of such intentions. It turns out that serious leaders and ministers with portfolios are ready to sing in the "Ukrainian choir," assembled in order to mask key security problems. It is unlikely that Erdogan and Wallace do not understand this.

What isn't more sweet than some radish?

Question: "Than better? Answer: "Than London". Turkey considers long ago that it is able to reduce tension in the region as the friendly country both for Russia, and for Ukraine and also as the member of NATO. Long ago offers intermediary services, recognizes what can help to avoid the military conflict. "Turkey is ready to act in any role for decrease in tension between the Russian Federation and Ukraine", - Kalyn claims. Erdoğan will perhaps visit Kiev in the nearest future.

Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan spoke by phone on January 2. In particular, "also the international subjects were touched". In December, 2021 Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian president, said that the Russian president "is open for dialogue, but any dialogue has to be focused on achievement of concrete result". According to him, difficulties exist not between Moscow and Kiev, and between America, Moscow and NATO. "And Turkey in this case is the country of NATO. Most likely, including Americans will consult with Turkey. It is an ally of the USA", - Peskov added.

Turkey – the member of NATO, has the second largest army in alliance after the USA, is connected with Ukraine politically, renders military assistance, selling unmanned aerial vehicles, other equipment and arms. Ankara refuses to recognize the Crimea as Russian, but doesn't join the western sanctions, urges allies to observe the Convention Montreux of 1936 providing stability in the Black Sea region on NATO.

Turkey there, Turkey here

Influence of Turkey in Ukraine grows, her interests extend to the Ukrainian defense industry. In November of last year the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the framework agreement which was concluded on October 16, 2020 during the official visit of the president of Ukraine to Turkey. The document creates legal bases for expansion of cooperation in the sphere of defense in 21 directions.

In April of last year Zelensky and Erdoğan held negotiations in Istanbul, participated in the ninth meeting of Council of strategic cooperation of high level. The president of Ukraine asked to support Kiev in opposition with Moscow.

Turkey is ready to render political and technical assistance to Kiev to counterbalance influence of Russia in the Black Sea region. Ankara maintains territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, her desire to join NATO, the Crimean platform directed the delegation to a conference, is among the leading foreign investors.

During the visit to Kiev in February, 2021 Erdoğan signed the contract on military aid of AFU. Despite antagonism in relation to the West, the Turkish president supports presence of the ships of NATO in the Black Sea region, perceives military strengthening of Russia in the region as threat to the interests. Somehow even I told the NATO Secretary General: "You aren't visible in the Black Sea, and it turns it into the Russian lake".

Important element of partnership with Ukraine is the aspiration to arrange production of engines for fighting Bayraktar TB2 drones. Ukraine already makes for them engines that allows Turkey to export drones, despite the restrictions imposed by the USA. The Turkish company Baykar Defense and Ukrainian Ukrspetsexport created Black Sea Shield joint venture for production Bayraktar TB2, for development of technologies of engines and the operated ammunition.

Exchange of intelligence information is also included into the program of cooperation of Ankara and Kiev, extends to data exchange of military intelligence about "the countries which are considered as harmful to common interests of Turkey and Ukraine".

The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview to the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper of May 24, 2021: "If to talk the Ukrainian business, then at all levels we strongly recommend the Turkish colleagues to analyze carefully a situation and to cease to feed militaristic moods of Kiev. We carry extremely accurately out a thought that encouragement of aggressive Ukrainian initiatives of the Crimea is equivalent to infringement of territorial integrity of Russia. We expect that the line of Ankara will be corrected taking into account our lawful concerns".

Erdoğan knows that his game with Kiev in favor of NATO, is an asset in the relations with the alliance countries. Turkey provide NATO presence on the southern flank of the front on control of Russia. The position of Ankara matters also for the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation using the Turkish passages. Statements meet that in case of the conflict, Ankara will be able to withdraw the Convention Montreux of 1936 guaranteeing easy access of the ships through passages.

Case without handle or handle without case

Ankara and London decided to warm their hands on Moscow's dialogue with Washington and Brussels, trying to bring Ukraine and the civil conflict on its territory to the fore. They suggested being intermediaries in what Russia has nothing to do with.

In the diplomatic dialogue that Blinken plans to continue with Lavrov in Geneva, there are no "free chairs" with nameplates at the negotiating table for London and Ankara. More precisely, places are provided, but the same as Estonia or Bulgaria, in a room with a monitor to monitor the operation in the negotiating room. So the actors of NATO "sophomore" came into motion. Ankara as an intermediary, perhaps friendly. London is generally incomprehensible in what hypostasis. Is it Uncle Sam's right hand?

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