Turkey Confronts Russia on Yet Another Front

The United States does well to remove itself from Near Eastern and North African disputes. Its nominal ally Turkey has made it a profession to fish in troubled waters, seeking Great Power status through the projection of military power. The Russians of course have been playing the same game for some time and with greater persistence. And now the Turks have chosen to interfere on the side of the Azeris in a very old dispute between Armenia and Azerbaidzhan over the fate of Nagorno-Karabakh, just as the Americans are pulling out of Afghanistan, leaving an open wound on Russia’s southernmost flank. Armenia would normally count on Russian support against Azerbaidzhan.

Turkey’s forward policy leaves President Putin with a dilemma. Russia can scarcely afford to leave open the gates to the Caucasus to Turkish expansionism. It already confronts Turkey in Syria and in Libya. But does it really want to tie down more forces elsewhere just to rap the Turks on the knuckles? The rouble is dropping like a stone and the outlook is not promising for Moscow. Doubtless all that has been taken into account by the Turks. The Russians have become locked into a game of cat and mouse with Turkey at the most unfavourable time imaginable and with no one willing to join them. The cost of alienating the rest of the world can now be counted in going it alone for the unforeseeable future.

Nezavisimaya gazeta is concerned:

28.09.2020 20:15:00

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