Russian-Turkish tensions and implications for Armenia





Expert of Turkish studies Gevorg Petrosyan advises to look back at the start of the Syrian crisis in order to understand why Turkey shot down the Russian jet.

“While Russia was backing Assad from day one, Turkey was doing its best to overthrow him, Petrosyan said.

He added, however, the discrepancies never halted the economic cooperation between the two countries.

“Ankara could no longer tolerate Russia’s military presence in Syria, because it was against Turkey’s interests, which was, in turn, trying to reinforce its positions in Syria and support the forces fighting against Bashar Al-Assad,” the expert said.

How will the escalation of tension in Russian-Turkish relations affect Armenia? According to Gevorg Petrosyan, any “extremity” in those relations goes against Armenian interests. The expert said, however, he does not see a threat of large-scale war between Russia and Turkey, but added that Moscow will definitely find a way to hit back, e. g. by downing a Turkish jet crossing the Syrian border.

According to Petrosyan, Turkey will suffer serious losses on the economic front, particularly in the fields of energy and tourism.

“This country has found itself in a difficult situation, as the West has changed its attitude towards the warm relations between Turkey and the Islamic State after the Paris attacks,” the expert said.

What is the supreme interest that unites Turkey and the Islamic State? Petrosyan says it’s the factor of Kurds, which both are fighting. “Turkey’s ultimate goal is to prevent the formation of a Kurdish state close to its border.”

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