Connect with us

EurAsian Region

How Robust are Turkey Russia Relations? EurAsian Times

Published

on

How good are Turkey Russia Relations? Despite initial hiccups between both the nations and despite Turkey being a NATO member, Turkey Russia Relations seems to be thriving. Recently, Turkey and Russia signed a loan agreement on the purchase of S-400 systems. The signing of the agreement took place in Ankara. As reported by the Hurriyet Newspaper and Tass, Turkey will pay for the systems independently while the other part will be a loan from Russia. Here is an analysis by on Turkey Russia Relations by EurAsian Times

Turkey Russia Relations: Legal Agreements

The legal structure for economic cooperation between Turkey and Russia includes about 20 agreements, including an accord on trade and economic cooperation, a long-term program for the expansion of trade, economic, industrial and technical cooperation, an agreement on collaboration in the field of energy, an agreement on the improvement and security of capital investments and an agreement on maritime transport.

Key Economic Indicators

Since the beginning of the 2000s, bilateral economic relations between Russia and Turkey have developed quite dynamically. From 2002 to 2014, trade turnover increased more than sixfold: from $ 5 billion to $ 31 billion (the peak of the turnover was in 2012 – $ 33 billion).

Against the backdrop of a major diplomatic crisis when the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber in Syria, Russia imposed sanctions against Turkey. There was a  ban on the import of various types of Turkish goods including fruits, vegetables, flowers, recruitment of Turkish nationals, and a ban on the construction and tourism industry. The charter air transportation between Russia and Turkey was halted and a ban on the sale of tourist tours was put in effect, and joint ventures, especially in the energy sector, were suspended.

See More: Why is the US Purchasing Russian Fighter Aircrafts like Mig-29 & SU-27?

Normalization of Turkey Russia Relations

In 2016, following the talks between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, relations between two nations slowly began to normalize. The ban on tours to Turkey was cancelled, and restrictions on charter flights were lifted.

Later, the Turkish fruits and vegetables were allowed to enter the Russian Federation The diplomatic normalization of relations between Moscow and Ankara progressed steadily which not only led to the resumption bilateral trade but also the resuming the cooperation in many sectors including gas, nuclear projects and tourism.

Turkey Russia Cooperation in Engineering

The largest Russian investment project in Turkey is the construction of the first Turkish nuclear power plant Akkuyu. The intergovernmental accord on the construction of four power units with a total capacity of 4800 MW was inked on the model of BOO (build-own-operate). In October 2016, NPP construction works began to work to design, build, maintain, operate and decommission the plant. In February 2017, the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency approved the design parameters of the nuclear power plant site. The first power unit is to be commissioned by 2023 with estimated costs at $ 22 billion.

Cooperation in the Gas Sector

At present, Russia is transporting gas to Turkey via the Blue Stream gas pipeline, as well as along the Transbalkan gas pipeline. Russia provides about 60% of Turkey’s natural gas requirements, supplying about 27 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

See More: US-Turkey Conflict: Now Turkey Suspends Visa for US Citizens

Boosting of Turkey Russia Relations in Defense

Turkey became the first NATO country to obtain Russian weapons: between 1993 and 1995 contracts were signed for the delivery of various armoured carriers, and Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters. Turkey also shopped for machine guns of AK series, sniper rifles and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers.

See More: After S-400 Deal, Is Putin Planning a Russian Military Base in Turkey?

In 2008, Russia and Turkey signed a contract for the supply of 80 anti-tank missile systems “Kornet-E” to Turkey. In 2016, Turkey and Russia were negotiating on the purchase of the Russian S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems. The total cost of S-400 is estimated to be around $2 billion and delivery is expected to begin in 2019. The signing of the S-400 agreement took place in Ankara recently where Turkey will pay for the amount for the systems independently, and the other part will be a loan from Moscow.

Restoring Tourism

In 2010, Turkey was one of the most visited destinations for Russians besides Egypt. According to the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, in 2012, Turkish resorts were visited by 2.5 million Russians,  3.1 million in 2013, 3.3 million in 2014 and it rose to 3.5 million in 2015. After the Russian ban on tours to Turkey and charter air transportation between Russia and Turkey, the flow of Russians to Turkey practically came to zero. According to Federal Agency for Tourism, the tourist flow from Russia to Turkey fell by more than 76% – to 866 thousand people in 2016. In 2017, the situation changed dramatically: the number of Russian travellers to Turkey in the first half of 2017 increased by almost nine times compared to the same period in 2016 and amounted to 1.6 million Russians.

Advertisement

EurAsian Region

Russia Could Annex More Parts Of Ukraine Over ‘Crimean Dispute’: US Reports

Published

on

The lack of water in Crimea may lead to a new military aggression by Russia against Ukraine. Analysts he Jamestown Foundation believes that the water situation in Crimea has reached a critical level, which might prompt Moscow to seize more Ukrainian territories. 

Australia Getting Squeezed Between US & China; Infuriating Policies Add To The Woes

Goble writes – the Crimea has long endured water shortages now intensified by frequent winters with little-to-no rain or snow. According to officials in Moscow, Crimea has seen its reserves of freshwater slump by 60% and there could be no water by this August in the peninsula.

The situation poses a grave health crisis in Crimea and this could prompt Russia to seize more Ukrainian territories to gain access to freshwater supplies as Kiev has bluntly rejected selling water to Russia.

Until the Russian annexation of Crimea, 85% of the drinking water for the Crimean residents was supplied via the North Crimean Canal, from the Dnieper River. However, Ukraine abruptly terminated the supplies, forcing Moscow to rely on groundwater and reservoirs.

Ukrainian experts state that the water deficiency in Crimea is a direct result of the Russian invasion. If it ends (the Russian occupation) the water crisis will end too, which is also the official position of Ukraine,”

The groundwater levels in much of Crimea have decreased dramatically as the region faces the prospect of water shortages for both agriculture as well as the resident population.

Not only is Crimea running out of water, but experts claim that Russia has often played up this issue in order to pressurize Ukraine via Europe. Indeed, the expert notes, what Moscow says about water for Crimea has matched the Russin attempts to extend its control into other parts of Ukraine.

When Russia overran Ukrainian territory in 2014, they had planned to capture a much larger portion of the nation than they were able to, including the places from which Crimea had historically obtained its water. Will the current “hysteria” in Crimea about water shortage prompt the Russians to move against Ukraine?

Ukraine is unlikely to change its position on Crimea and Russian occupation. That is because there is a looming water shortage in Ukraine itself, and supplying water to the Russian occupation would only increase the matter, besides Kiev looks determined to stand its ground firm.

That raises the probability that Russia may use the military option and drive northward into Ukraine to seize full control of water for Crimea before a humanitarian disaster hits the region this summer.

he Jamestown Foundation

Continue Reading

EurAsian Region

From Syria To Libya, Turkish Drones Outsmarting Russian Air Defence Systems?

Published

on

Turkey and Russia have been at opposite ends in both Syria and Libya. Just like Syria where Turkish drones excelled against the Russian air defence systems, the situation in Libya looks almost similar. 

Turkish drones have yet again battered Russian air-defence systems. According to TRT World, the introduction of drones in Libya by Turkey has caused the tide of the war to swing in its favour.

To understand the Libyan war is not easy as different countries support different leaders and this has caused widespread chaos in the region. Much like Syria, Russia and Turkey are supporting different groups in Libya.

Moscow backs and supports Khalil Haftar of the Libyan National Army (LNA) based in Benghazi. Haftar also has allies in France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The LNA recruits from all over Africa and its aim are to wrest control of the capital, Tripoli, from the Government of National Accord (GNA) and rule over the African country.

The GNA is the internationally recognised government in Libya and the defence of the government lies in the hands of Turkey, Qatar and Italy and its army. The LNA, under Haftar, launched a military campaign in April 2019 to take control of Tripoli even though the UN Secretary-General had requested him not to do so.

A year on, Haftar’s self-styled LNA is on verge of defeat as Turkey’s drones have wreaked havoc on LNA controlled territories.

Turkish Drones – Changing the Tide

According to reports, Turkish drones started arriving in late 2019 and the Turkish Army assisted the GNA to familiarize Libyans with the new weapons.

Prior to the arrival of the drones, Haftar’s own air force, supported by the UAE, Egyptians and Russians had devastated the GNA forces resulting in heavy casualties.

However, the drones have proved to be the game-changer yet again. Using their experience from Idlib in Syria, Ankara mastered the use of sophisticated unmanned aerial warfare, hitting targets at distance and assisting ground troops.

Now using the same technology and experience, Turkish drones have been vital in assisting GNA claim nearly all of western Libya from Haftar’s forces. Since April, the GNA has captured numerous cities between Tripoli and the Tunisian border.

The latest feather in the GNA’s cap is the seizure of the Al-Vatiya, HQ of the LNA’s western operations, and the largest airbase across Western Libya. The Turks reported the destruction of two Russian anti-aircraft missile-cannon systems (ZRPK) “Pantsir-C1”.

This is the first time that the GNA has announced hitting the Russian air defence system since the start of the assault on Tripoli forces in April 2019.

Russia Wounded Yet Again?

For the Russian forces, the latest advance in Libya is a flashback of Syria. As reported by EurAsian Times in March, drones from Turkey had destroyed several Russian-made, Syrian-operated air defence vehicles. The Russian Ministry of Defence later confirmed that two Pantsir air-defence systems were destroyed in the Turkish onslaught.

In Libya, the air defence system has met the same fate and has now raised questions over its efficacy. The aerial offensive from Ankara has put Moscow on the backfoot. But like always, analysts agree that the Russian will not go out without a fight.

In an effort to counter GNA and its allies, Moscow has sent 6 MiG-29 fighter jets and 2 Su-24 attack planes to the LNA-controlled al Jufra airbase. The Russians did get some positive news as the LNA was able to destroy 4 Turkish drones last week. Haftar’s only hope to stem the GNA’s advance is to regain air superiority.

The Libyan war has been going on since 2011 and while the tide has now swung in the GNA’s favour, it does not mean the war will end anytime soon. Experts speaking to EurAsian Times believe that there is no military solution to Libya and Haftar must be removed from the scene in Tripoli.

Written by – Armaan Srivastava

Continue Reading

EurAsian Region

Is India Set To Export BrahMos Missiles To The Philippines, Indonesia & Vietnam?

Published

on

India-Philippines defence relations could get stronger as Manila plans to acquire BrahMos missile. “There are discussions going on a range of weapons systems between India and the Philippines. Once travel becomes possible, the joint committee that looks at defence logistics will meet discuss these things,” said India’s ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Majumdar.

In 2017, during the visit to the Philippines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Industry and Logistics Cooperation (MoU). The MoU provides a framework for enhancing and strengthening cooperation in logistics support and services and in the development, production and procurement of defence materials.

India had offered $100 million a line of credit to the Philippines for defence purchases but Manila is considering the option to procure BrahMos missile with its own funds.

BrahMos Deals with other countries

ASEAN nations have earlier approached New Delhi exploring the idea to procure major defence and weapon systems, including the Akash and BrahMos missiles.

In the last few years, India has exported personal protective items or bulletproof gear and armour plating for military vehicles to the Philippines. New Delhi is now exploring the defence deals with Indonesia and Vietnam to sell its Indo-Russian missile, BrahMos.

India has earlier contracted to sell coastal defence radars and marine-grade steel to Indonesia and to service the Russian-made Su-30 combat jets flown by the Indonesian air force. “It is significant if India is offering the BrahMos missile to Indonesia. It enhances the relevance of India’s military profile as a credible exporter of cruise missile technology,” said Commodore (retired) C Uday Bhaskar.

This is a big push for PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. “We are not a significant exporter of arms mainly because we have very little exportable military equipment,” Amit Cowshish, former Financial Advisor (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence stated.

BrahMos Missile

BrahMos is a cruise missile which means that it can be controlled towards a pre-determined land- or sea-based target. It is classified as a supersonic cruise missile which can achieve a speed 2.8 times the speed of sound.

The name comes with the amalgamation of rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva and was produced by a joint venture between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.

“India’s missile development programme has made sure that its missiles are upgraded and new systems are also developed. BrahMos has undergone development through the early 2000s till date. Its land-to-land, submarine-fired and now air-fired variants have been developed stage by stage. Each new version has something additional compared to the previous version,” said a DRDO scientist.

The Indian Navy indicted the missiles on its warships in 2005 while army began acquiring from 2007 after a series of tests. After the Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully air-launched a Mach 2.8 supersonic surface-attack missile of this category from a fighter jet, it became the first in the world to do so.

India has been in talks with the ASEAN nations for a long time over the export of BrahMos missiles and experts are predicting that New Delhi should be able to make inroads into the South-East Asian nations as pressure from China mounts.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

Terrorist-Kashmir Terrorist-Kashmir
Featured4 hours ago

Pakistan Unhappy Over The Arrest, Expulsion Of ‘Spy Diplomats’ By India

India recently expelled two officials of the Pakistan high commission after they were arrested by the security forces on charges...

US-China-Trade-War US-China-Trade-War
Featured15 hours ago

China Warns India Of Economical Repercussions If It Supports The US In Cold War Against China

China's aim of upholding friendly ties with India hasn't changed, so Beijing will still provide assistance to India by boosting...

israel-unesco israel-unesco
Expert Reviews22 hours ago

Israel-China Relations: How Israel Is Getting Caught Between US-China Rivalry? Analysis

Israel knew the drill even before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boarded his flight to Tel Aviv earlier this...

CHINA-TAIWAN CHINA-TAIWAN
Asia Pacific2 days ago

Chinese Military Commission Leaves Door Open For ‘Forceful Takeover’ Of Taiwan

While the Chinese Military Commission leaves the door open to a military takeover of Taiwan, experts suggest that the use...

Hong-Kong-Minnesota Hong-Kong-Minnesota
Americas3 days ago

China Mocks Trump, Pompeo Over Subduing Minnesota & Provoking Hong Kong Protesters

Chinese media has lambasted Donald Trump’s handling of Minnesota protests over the death of an African American man by comparing...

sayed-salahuddin sayed-salahuddin
Featured3 days ago

Top Terror Commander Syed Salahuddin ‘Not Injured’ In Pakistan Attacks – Pak Journalist

Reports in Indian media say that Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the United Jihad Council, was “seriously injured in the...

SCO-Summit-2018 SCO-Summit-2018
Asia Pacific4 days ago

Chinese State Media Blasts Trump For Driving A Wedge Between India & China

Washington knows that the combined strength of China and India could undermine American interests in Asia and opportunist US has...

US-Strategy-Afghanistan US-Strategy-Afghanistan
Americas4 days ago

Donald Trump To Withdraw US Troops From Afghanistan Ahead Of Schedule

US President Donald Trump has reiterated his resolve to “bring our soldiers back home” from Afghanistan, publicly questioning the purpose...

INDIA-CHINA INDIA-CHINA
Featured4 days ago

India, China Border Conflict May Lead To All Out War; Artillery Guns Deployed In Ladakh

Can India-China border conflict lead to an all-out war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours? The President of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir – Sardar...

dalai-lama dalai-lama
Asia Pacific5 days ago

US Could Recognize Tibet As An ‘Independent Country’ As US-China Tensions Escalate

Does the US plan to recognize Tibet as an independent country? In a bid to increase pressure on China, a...

Advertisement

Trending