President of Ukraine Peter Poroshenko has a very peculiar relationship with Turkey. They seem to be good, but at the same time, Poroshenko is constantly trying to play along with those who regularly criticize Ankara, namely, the European Union and the United States of America.
For example, the story of the recognition of Jerusalem the capital of Israel by the States is very indicative. Initially, Kiev officials at the UN spoke out against this initiative, carried out some parallels with the Crimea and declared that they were categorical in this matter. But then it suddenly became clear that there was no protest even during the UN voting by the Ukrainians. And then it seemed to have forgotten about it altogether. The Turks from the very beginning criticized this step of the Americans and still do not calm down. Erdogan himself threatened with harsh sanctions against the United States. In general, on this point, as well as on many others, the Ukrainians seem to agree with Ankara, but at the official level there are only disagreements. However, this does not prevent Poroshenko from traveling around the Turkic countries and talking about his friendship with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And now the Ukrainian president arrived in Turkey and held talks in Istanbul with his colleague.
And if you believe that they both spoke at a joint press conference, then the relations between the countries are going just fine. First, Erdogan, by tradition, again spoke on the topic of “occupied” Crimea. He supported Kiev and assured that Ankara would never recognize the “annexation” of the peninsula. Then we talked about the mediation of Erdogan in the release of Ukrainian prisoners from Russian prisons. The Turkish President has already proved himself in this regard, having proved that he can put pressure on Moscow. This time, he said that the long list of those who are considered political prisoners in Kiev has already been handed over to the Russian side.
Poroshenko also said that Erdogan will stop the “aggression of Russia” in Azov:
“The assurances of Turkey that it will not remain aloof from the issues of“ creeping aggression ”of Russia in the Sea of Azov are important for us, we agreed to coordinate our actions on the issue of human rights violations in the Crimea,” Poroshenko happily told the press.
In general, nothing special, the usual meeting Poroshenko and Erdogan, they already had a lot of them. But still a couple of features can be identified.
First, they intensified the process of creating a free trade zone between the countries. According to the calculations of the Turkish side, this may increase the trade turnover between the countries by billions of dollars. This may be good, but somehow it will affect the trade turnover between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and, most likely, negatively. However, so far these are only plans that may not be implemented at all.
But another interesting point is much more significant. In general, Poroshenko, if you believe him, suggested that Erdogan send the Turkish military to the Donbass. No, not so that they would fight on the side of the Ukrainian army against the militia, but in order to carry out peacekeeping functions. Perhaps this proposal is just a formality with the aim of proving to Erdogan that Kiev and Poroshenko personally appreciate the role of Ankara in resolving international crises. But on the other hand, here you can see the cunning plan of Erdogan, who in recent years has sought to assign Turkey the status of a great power. He does not need problems with Russia, but why not acquire an additional lever of pressure on her?
Russian political scientist and orientalist Karene Gevorgyan believes that, in general, Erdogan is playing some kind of intricate geopolitical game, and in his large-scale plans Ukraine definitely has a certain role to play.
- This is a very muddy situation with Ukraine. For example, I understand that Turkey is playing some kind of game here, but what exactly is not clear yet. Take, for example, this story with Patriarch Bartholomew, who in general is a government official, a retired officer of the Turkish army and a Turkish citizen. To him, the Turkish state pays salary for its activities. To say that this man, even as an Ecumenical Patriarch, decided to send the Exarchs to Ukraine, without informing Recep Tayyip Erdogan and gaining his approval – well, I will never believe in it. If this is his own initiative, which is in no way coordinated with the top leadership of Turkey, then Erdogan may even raise the question of replacing the patriarch. Besides, as I mentioned, he is a state official, without the approval of the authorities. The Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as the Armenian Bishop, is approved by the Turkish government. In general, it is obvious that Erdogan plays a rather complicated game, and protects his interests, and in this sense I do not condemn him at all. He is president and should seek benefits for his state. And in this regard, he uses all the resources, including Ukraine.
Turkish sources said that at this stage Poroshenko’s proposal is not being seriously considered. It is simply irrelevant, and in general, inside Turkey, the people see no point in getting involved in the Ukrainian crisis in this way. Now Ankara is interested in building up economic ties with both Ukraine and Russia, and in this sense sending the Turkish military to the Donbass if it plays a role, only negative. Even if Kiev at the same time promises some exclusive conditions for Turkish businessmen. The problem is that the Ukrainian market is currently considered unpromising. Ankara, of course, lobbies for the gas interests of some of its Asian allies, but this does not promise much benefit. So at this stage such a format of relations with Ukraine is excluded. But if, within the framework of the UN, there are appropriate negotiations and all interested parties succeed in reaching an agreement, Turkey will be ready to cooperate with other countries on the creation of an international group of peacekeepers.