The Great Diplomatic Game between the USA and Western Eurasia (Turkey-Russia)
From 14th of June and until the end of June there will be a major diplomatic game through the meetings between US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, respectively. These meetings are highly likely to shape or begin to shape the future of South-Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Regarding the first meeting between President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart, the climate will certainly be burdened with the diplomatic starting point of the posts being described as confrontational, but without reaching the point of rupture because it is not in anyone’s interest.
The aversion to the Turkish President’s face has begun under Presidency Barrack Obama and is now continuing under President Joe Biden. The question is whether personal aversion will prevail to diplomacy.
Joe Biden wants in every way to bring Turkey back to the “camp” of the West. The US aims to curb Turkey’s ambitions to operate unchecked as a regional power and outside the borders of the West. The greatest pressure is exerted on the issue of the removal of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft/anti-ballistic weapons system from Turkey.
But there are other points of friction between the US and Turkey, such as the Turkish President’s accusations against the US over the failed 2016 coup against him, making the Turkish President ask the US to issue Islamist priest Fethullah Gulen. The US refuses to issue him while asking for sufficient evidence for its courts to issue it.
Human rights are at the top of the agenda of the talks, since after the coup the Turkish authorities have carried out unprecedented persecution. More than 91000 people have been imprisoned and more than 150000 have been fired because of their alleged relationships with Gulen.
The US accuses Turkey’s President of marginalizing domestic opposition, gagging his critics, jailing journalists, and prosecuting independent judges. Another point of friction is US support for Israel during its recent conflict with Hamas, while the US has said it will support Erdogan’s political opponents.
Additional and potential pressure can be exerted by the US on the issue of Halkbank (please read an analysis entitled “U.S. Control of Turkey through Halkbank Scandal“) and by the recognition of the Armenian genocide, where Armenian citizens can now claim damages from the US courts and to such a magnitude that they kneel economically on a long-term basis in Turkey, making it financially hostage due to large debts.
The US President in this way wants to demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he is an absolute leader in NATO, but it is doubtful whether the current President of Turkey will back down from his “westerly independent” positions. The highest priority for Turkey is the US attitude towards the Syrian Kurds, who, with the Kurds of Turkey and Northern Iraq, are fighting turkey’s dismemberment.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin would prefer the President of Turkey to maintain his “independence” to date, despite the profoundly serious divergence of geo-strategic objectives between Russia and Turkey.
At this stage, the President of Russia will choose the standby position while preparing his future moves for any eventuality. On the other hand, the EU is desperate to not take place the US-Russia conflict. It is certainly interesting how these meetings will develop and how the future scene will be shaped in the above-mentioned regions of the planet.
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