Russia’s relations with Erdogan observed – the deliverer of Russian gas to European marketsSat 4:49 am Europe/London, 6 Aug 2022
Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting with Vladimir Putin felt really great
On August 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin received his colleague, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Sochi and held four-hour talks with him, which, according to Kommersant’s special correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov, were not crowned with supernatural success. Simply because they could not be crowned.
Photo: press service of the President of the Russian Federation
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the end of the meeting were going to give an extensive press conference with a large gathering of journalists. But the final format looked different: no press conference at all, no photographers needed either, except for one who can handle everyone. And that’s it, immediately on the plane.
Kommersant learned that the press conference was canceled at the initiative of the Turkish president. And this despite the fact that Recep Tayyip Erdogan loves to speak aloud and does it with pleasure, he loves to savor words, one might even say he loves to swim in them – if it were not so obvious that the depth of these words, as a rule, is not impressive and splashing journalists falls on shallow water (although there are whirlpools).
Although Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently begun to respect himself even more than before. It is full of slowness and epicness. It was enough to see how condescendingly and slowly he patted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the shoulder at the NATO summit. And he, by the way, shortly after that announced his resignation from the post of prime minister. As if it was a black mark for an Englishman.
Incidentally, I was anxiously awaiting the start of the meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Will he clap or not (and who will clap whom)? It will be a judgment in a sense. No. It worked out. Still, apparently, it is true, as they say, that Mr. Putin is lucky in difficult circumstances.
In fact, he could clap, at least when they met. But they only shook hands, and it even looked defiant if you didn’t know what Kommersant knows: there was an agreement that the Turkish president, although he doesn’t take tests upon arrival in Sochi, at least keeps the appearance of distance ( does not breathe on a colleague in the fresh air).
The departure of the Turkish President from Ankara looked promising. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even on the gangway of the plane that rushed him to Sochi, climbed, or rather moved, as the late Leonid Brezhnev still had to learn. That is, it is multi-layered. Solemn and even crowned. Heavy. And this did not mean that he was irreparably ill. If he is sick, it is incurable.
Having met with the President of Russia and sat down in a chair, the President of Turkey, at first, just as epicly searched for his headphones, and then, when he still couldn’t find them, he suddenly discovered his ability to fuss: he began to look around restlessly, called an assistant who not only found headphones on table, but also, just in case, untangled them so that Recep Tayyip Erdogan would not inadvertently find himself in an even more helpless state.
Vladimir Putin called those present his great friend and generally showed all respect for his partner.
“We have major projects,” Mr. Putin emphasized. “Everyone knows about the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. But there are other directions too! This is energy, which is very important.
It seemed that Recep Tayyip Erdogan was filled with even greater significance at these words, or rather returned it, it was confused after searching for headphones on the table.
“In this regard, I would like to note,” the Russian president continued, “that the Turkish Stream, the construction of which we completed some time ago, is today one of the most important arteries for supplying Europe with Russian gas. Turkish Stream, unlike all other directions of our hydrocarbon supplies to Europe, is working properly, rhythmically, without any failures. I mean not only deliveries to consumers in Turkey, but, I want to reiterate, also to consumers in Europe.
So, I think, European partners should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring uninterrupted transit of our gas to the European market.
Now that was the main thing. This is what he wanted to say first of all. That the problems of (mostly future) consumers in Europe are to blame for the authorities of these consumers. And there are exemplary leaders. Exemplary are those who maintain warm friendly relations with Vladimir Putin.
And I would like to add that Turkey remains, as you know, almost our only window to Europe. And if tomorrow this window for some reason suddenly slams shut from the wind of change, what then? And consider that nothing. Not in the sense that it won’t happen, but in the sense that it won’t. I recently flew a regular flight to Istanbul, so in this city I left, if I’m not mistaken, alone. All other passengers of the flight flew to transit destinations, further to Europe.
And apparently, Recep Tayyip Erdogan understands that dependence on him has increased and that he is not the same Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, after the downed Russian front-line bomber, sought the company of the Russian president to discuss everything, even in the toilet, but never found him, wrote in finally a letter of repentance. And the majestic slowness of his movements is caused, perhaps, by this circumstance too.
“With your direct participation and through the mediation of the United Nations Secretariat, the issue related to the supply of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports has been resolved,” Vladimir Putin encouraged him to this slowness. that at the same time a package decision was made on the uninterrupted supply of Russian food and Russian fertilizers to world markets. Because the question is for many countries, especially for developing countries, which are on the verge of major problems with the supply of food and fertilizers… For all these countries, of course, the decisions that were made with your direct participation are very important. I want to thank you for this.
Only one person could not be happy with these words – the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. He is a peacemaker by vocation. He wants to be no less than Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And more. And he also called Ukraine for negotiations with Russia. Did not work out.
Because even before that, the old truth was confirmed that good agreements will not be called Minsk agreements.
“And we, as agreed, I hope that today we will be able to sign an appropriate memorandum on the development of our trade and economic relations, taking into account the agreements that were reached by our delegation when working in Turkey just a day or two ago,” Vladimir hinted at something. Putin.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have decided that he is even more valuable than one could imagine, and not everyone can imagine, and decided to clarify:
— I believe that we will open a new page in our Turkish-Russian relations!.. Today the world has set its sights on Sochi! What will they do in Sochi? What will they do in Sochi? What will they discuss? Probably, the world is closely following our meeting, for Sochi! And after our meeting, perhaps the best answer will be sent to these circles, to these individuals.
There are no more problems for China and the US because of Nancy Pelosi. At Kosovo with Serbia because of Metohija. Armenia and Azerbaijan because of Nagorno-Karabakh. Everyone has abandoned everything and is only watching to see if Recep Tayyip Erdogan finds headphones on the table.
Although they, no doubt, discussed the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. And apparently, Azerbaijan will reduce its activity in this region.
Meanwhile, the negotiations continued for more than four hours, and at some point, members of the delegations began to join Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin.
And it was chaotic. From time to time, the presidents called in one of those who they needed, and then let them go, continuing to talk one on one.
According to Kommersant’s information, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, who personifies the Muslim part of Russia at such meetings, was not in demand by the leaders during the negotiations and was involved on the sidelines.
At the same time, there was no break between the narrow and extended parts, since there was no extended part with the full participation of two delegations, which means that there was no introductory speech, which usually happens primarily for journalists, either. Journalists, who were also almost non-existent (except for the TASS correspondent), were almost orphaned.
As a result, only a short general statement was adopted, from which it followed that the diplomats of both countries had not forgotten how to work on the creation of wording that flowed around the meanings, the purpose of which was to demonstrate that if there was a need for a general statement, then it would be.
However, one paragraph still made sense:
“The leaders recognized the important role of constructive relations between the two countries in concluding an initiative on the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports. The need to ensure the full implementation of the Istanbul Package Deal in accordance with its spirit and letter, including the unhindered export of Russian grain, fertilizers and raw materials for their production, was emphasized.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak added that Turkey will now partially pay for gas in rubles.
It will seem to some that this is too much with regard to Turkey, but otherwise, that is, the former order of things, however, would already look like an exclusive punishment for Europe, and now it should, apparently, be perceived as a working moment in relations between Russia and the countries to which it supplies gas.
Although, as you know, payment in rubles for any victim of this process does not cause much trouble.
As soon as the negotiations ended, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and members of his delegation flew home.
According to Kommersant’s information, the Turkish president did not even stay for a cooked dinner (as in Iran two weeks ago), and during the four-hour negotiations he made do with tea and coffee.
Recently, Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not allow himself too much.