Turkey
Russia's Syria policy could impede Turkish Stream proj.
- According to experts, Russia's violation of Turkish airspace and activities in Syria may negatively affect mutual projects

Persistent Russian violation of Turkish airspace could negatively impact the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline project, George Vlad Niculescu, head of research at the European Geopolitical Forum, a Brussels based think tank said Wednesday.

Niculescu told Anadolu Agency that Russia's airspace violation will have negative effects on Russian-Turkish strategic partnership in the wider Black Sea area, including prospects of realizing the Turkish Stream project.

A Russian fighter jet was intercepted by Turkish warplanes after violating Turkey’s airspace on Saturday.

"To get the souring Russian-Turkish relationship back under control, Moscow needs to stop bombing anti-al Assad Western-supported rebels in North Western Syria," Niculescu said, adding that, "Ankara must persuade Putin to take a more cautious stance against supporting the al-Assad regime, and look together with Moscow (and Teheran, and Washington) for a political compromise on the Syrian post-war government as a binding glue of a stronger anti-Daesh broader coalition."

According to Niculescu, he recommends that the first step could be to have pro-Western rebels strike an armistice with Damascus and unite their forces against Daesh.

"Otherwise, the stand-off between Russia, Iran and maybe China, on the one hand, and the West including the U.S., the European powers, Turkey and the Gulf monarchies, on the other hand, on the control of Syrian airspace may escalate dramatically very soon." 

On Sept. 30, the upper house of the Russian parliament voted unanimously to give President Vladimir Putin the authority to use the country’s military in Syria.

According to reports from the Syrian Arab News Agency, the Russian support against Daesh had come "at the request of the Syrian state."

Syria’s devastating civil war, now in its fifth year, has claimed more than 250,000 lives, according to UN figures, and made the country the world's single-largest source of refugees and displaced people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned Russia of worsening relations with his country after the Russian fighter jet violated Turkey’s air space.

Naser Al-Tamimi, a Middle East energy expert said that the situation is very dangerous between Russia and Turkey as there is a refugee crisis near Turkey and threats of violence erupting from both inside and outside the country.

Tamimi stressed that growing tensions with Russia could make the situation more complicated. “The situation now depends on Russia,” Tamimi said.

The Turkish President reiterated his calls for a regime change in Syria on Tuesday, adding that Assad was still in power despite "being responsible for the death of 350,000 people" because he was being backed by Iran and Russia.

With regard to the Turkish Stream project, Tamimi said "The deal cannot be signed before the Turkish elections on Nov.1. If we take into account the time it takes to form a government, the signing of the agreement may be at the end of this year or the beginning of the New Year. Until then, all possibilities are open," he said.

By Murat Temizer

Anadolu Agency

murat.temizer@aa.com.tr

07 Oct,2015
TURKEY NEWS