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Worsened Russian relations will cut Erdogan’s options

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Significance

Uncertainty about whether Moscow will lift its suspension of flights from June 1 is discouraging Russian tourism into mid-summer. Turkey’s growing defence ties with Ukraine, its higher profile in the Caucasus and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s revival of plans for a canal bypassing the Bosphorus threaten to upset Ankara’s delicately balanced relations with Moscow.

Impacts

  • Russia will seek to strengthen ties further with Iran and Egypt, Turkey’s rivals in the Caucasus and Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Moscow will be less willing to accommodate Ankara at platforms such as the Astana Process set up to resolve the Syrian civil war.
  • Work on Turkey’s first nuclear power station, being built at Akkuyu by Russia’s Atomstroyexport, is likely to experience further delays.

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