Turkey, Russia to further proceed to improve relations - analyst

Türkiye Materials 25 July 2016 17:15 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 25

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

Turkey and Russia will further proceed towards the improving the relations as the two countries have some common goals, Cyril Widdershoven, Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY and SVP MEA-Risk, believes.

“Current position taken by Moscow is clear - it wants to increase relationship with Ankara. President Erdogan also has shifted his pro-EU/NATO statements to a more concilliatory view on Russia,” Widdershoven told Trend.

“Both countries are geographically bound to each other, so an improvement here is likely,” he added.

Relations between Turkey and Russia had been suspended until June 29, when a letter from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and subsequent telephone calls between the leaders quashed tensions.

Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in the Russian city of Sochi on July 1 in an effort to boost the process of normalizing relations.

Last week Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that rebuilding confidence between Turkey and Russia depends mostly on the cooperation over the Syria crisis.

"It is not only about bilateral relations, or how we carry out the trade, investment, and the mutual projects; it is also about the cooperation over solutions to the Syrian crisis," Lavrov said.

Russia has so far called for Assad to be part of a transition process while Turkey - which has taken in a large number of Syrian refugees - is deeply opposed to Assad remaining in power and finding his regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Syrians.

Following the signs of normalizations of the relations between the two countries, some expectations appeared regarding the possibilities of resuming the negotiations over the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project.

“The current situation indicates that Russia wants to restart the overall project. Some discussions already have been held, but outcome is unclear. Full scope of discussions is also not clear, but it seems that both parties are willing to restart the project, as Ankara and Moscow are again on speaking terms,” Widdershoven said.

The Turkish Stream project, which is meant to take the Russian gas to Turkey across the Black Sea, was suspended due to sharp deterioration of relations between Moscow and Ankara after the incident involving the downed Russian air bomber in November 2015.