In the relations between Turkey and NATO, the growing tension. In particular, on Friday, 29 November, the presidents of France Emmanuel macron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan exchanged barbs. Earlier it became known that the requiring official support for their actions against the Kurds, Turkey has blocked the adoption of the strategic plan of defence of the Baltic States from Russian aggression. “Apostrophe” has tried to understand how an open confrontation between the Alliance and Ankara may affect the strategic interests and security of Ukraine.
Lock plan for the defence of the Baltic States
Turkey is one of the oldest and most strategically important NATO member, but at the same time a source of problems for the Alliance. Still with 1970-ies, because of the conflict on the island of Cyprus, Ankara started to drift towards a more independent policy. Especially interesting is the special position of Turkey began after the outbreak of war in Syria. “Apostrophe” has already analyzed the situation, when the combat actions of Ankara against Syrian Kurds have become a cause not just a difference of positions with other members of NATO, but also the end of military cooperation and even Turkish sanctions by formal allies. Now it’s time for a Turkish response. Ankara has blocked the approval of a plan of defence of the Baltic region in the event of Russian aggression, and it will block until the Alliance does not support its actions against the Kurds.
At first glance, the situation looks rather unpleasant for NATO and joyful for the Kremlin. The impression is that in Syria the Turks and the Russians reached an understanding now that these agreements bring Moscow dividends. But in reality, the Turkish lock plan for the defence of the Baltic States is more symbolic than practical significance, because it does not deprive other NATO member States the opportunity to implement this plan in private. “Turkey is trying to bargain some concessions from the Alliance, but about the systematic play for Russia we are not talking. No obstacle to the key NATO countries in case of aggression Russia to apply the fifth paragraph of the Washington Treaty and to intervene in the conflict, Turkey can not create. However, following Ankara’s actions damage the perception of Turkey in NATO, which all the louder statement about the difference of interests of Turkey and NATO and the need for its exclusion from the Alliance,” he explained, “Apostrophe,” the chief consultant of the Department of military and military-economic policy of the National Institute strategitcheskikh research Nicholas Beleskov.
In fact, the situation of the Turkish anti-lock plan is more likely a coincidence than a deliberate policy of Erdogan. No practical motive to protect Russians in front of NATO Turkey does not have. “It is not necessary to bring the situation to the thesis that Ankara’s position is “Pro”. She is Pro-Turkish. The Turks found a weak spot in the NATO and put pressure on him to get dividends. This tactic Turkey applied repeatedly. Just now the situation coincided with Russian interests”, – expressed confidence in an interview with “Apostrophe” Deputy Director of the Dnieper branch of the National Institute for strategic studies Alex izsák.
Through the thorns to the understanding
One of the main problems in the relations of NATO and Turkey was the fact that the purchase by Ankara of the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems s-400 and even the fact that Russian-Turkish military cooperation. Therefore, the Turks had kicked out of the program participation in the production of F-35 aircraft – the main element of the strategic nuclear deterrent of Russia. Also there was talk about the withdrawal from Turkey of U.S. nuclear weapons, that is, to exclude Ankara from key NATO Nuclear Sharing. And while a withdrawal of nuclear weapons the Americans are in no hurry, the future of Turkey’s participation in the “nuclear distribution” depends on the host program, the F-35, what problems may arise. “We are merging programs Nuclear Sharing and the F-35. It is expected that in the near future of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe will be posted only on these multi-purpose aircraft of the 5th generation. So if the F-35 will not be posted in Turkey, and participation in the program of their production already deprived, then in the same way will be removed and nuclear weapons, ” – said Alexey izsák.
Such a scenario should be avoided, as in the case of deprivation of Turkey’s participation in the main strategic NATO, the gap between the Alliance and Ankara will be almost impossible to overcome. As it is impossible to give the situation to develop on their own, because the vector to the separation of Turkey and NATO are obvious. Need for political will and concrete efforts to restore good relations with Ankara. What many Western politicians may not be enough. “The situation with the drift of Turkey from the Alliance can still be addressed in a coordinated political effort. But while the trend is negative. Especially critical is the situation at the Turkish-American vector, where mutual claims and misunderstandings accumulate. Therefore, the current rate of Donald trump, which is that an open confrontation with Ankara to not go, looks more rational than Congress, which took too ideologized position. And given the influence of Congress on US foreign policy, this is another major factor and benefit gap between NATO and Ankara “, – says Nikolay Bleskov.
Undermining the security of the black sea region
The rate for divorce Turkey and the North Atlantic Alliance cannot but cause alarm, especially given the strategic interests of Ukraine. After all, if the defense of the Baltic States Turkey hurt in fact can not, it is a much more important black sea region with the Russian Turks can commit follies.
“The Turkish concept which is that only the black sea States should solve the problems of the region, very well with their current good relations with Russia. But this directly contradicts the strategic interests of Ukraine, because we are interested in increasing the presence of U.S. and NATO in the region. Therefore, from our point of view, any gap between Turkey and NATO direct negative consequences for Ukraine”, – said Mykola Beleskov.
Moreover, the contention within NATO, caused by the actions of Ankara, has a negative impact on the integration aspirations of Ukraine. Fortunately, these negative factors are offset by good cooperation of Ukraine and Turkey, particularly in the military sphere, and in General good bilateral relations. “The split between NATO and Turkey adversely affect the interests of Ukraine, formed because of the unfavorable political background to cooperation between Ukraine and NATO. But about the serious problems it is not, because it affects the positive experience of bilateral cooperation of Ukraine and Turkey”, – said Alexey izsák.
But if the gap between Turkey and NATO is going to happen, we should not expect that good of Ukrainian-Turkish relations to compensate us strategic negatives. So our government is interested in the fact that disagreements between Turkey and NATO have been overcome, and we could get geopolitical benefits from the strengthening of the Alliance in the black sea region. However, to overcome these differences will not be easy, and Ukraine is, unfortunately, little that can affect.