St. Petersburg : Relations between Russia-Turkey have gone through extremely tough times in the past few months. However in the interest of the people of both nations, they have decided to come together; said Russian President Vladimir Putin while announcing that relations between Russia and Turkey have now been “reset”. Nine months ago, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane in Syria, which soured relations between the 2 nations. But during the Turkish President Erdogan’s recent Russia visit, both nations declared that they would forget the past and restore co-operation.
After July’s failed coup attempt in Turkey, President Erdogan had accused US and other western countries for the same. Due to this, Turkey (being a NATO member) strained its relations with almost all other NATO nations. Incidentally, Russia-Turkey got closer during this period. Few weeks ago, the Turkish President apologized to Russia for downing its fighter jet. President Erdogan has also shown willingness to compensate Russia for its loss, to which the latter has responded positively. President Erdogan’s visit to Russia, just after the coup attempt, thus indicates a significant change in its foreign policies.
Turkish President Erdogan said that the Russian President had contacted him immediately after the coup attempt. He further added that the phone call was a big psychological boost for him. President Putin also said that they would stand against any coup attempt, be it with any government. The Russian President expressed confidence that under the leadership of President Erdogan, the Turkish people would come out of their problems in the coming days. Additionally Putin said that Russia’s decision to improve relations with Turkey is vital for both the nations in the longer run.
President Putin and Erdogan also discussed about the Syria issue. Russian President said that there are differences between Russia and Turkey over handling the Syria crisis. But it is possible to end these differences and arrive at a compromise. Since both Russia and Turkey feel that the crisis in Syria should come to an end, the compromise would not be very difficult.
The stance of the two leaders over Syria may have big implications in the coming days. Earlier, Russia and Turkey stood against each other in the Syria conflict. After Turkey downed the Russian jet, it was even feared that both the nations might go to war against each other. However nine months since then, the situation has completely turned around. If Russia and Turkey get together over the Syria issue, Syrian President Assad is set to get stronger and; in turn, weakening the rebels and terrorists opposing him.