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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

SITUATION REPORT: U.S. NATO ALLY TURKEY ENTERS INTO TRADE AND SECURITY TALKS WITH RUSSIA

AUGUST 9, 2016
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA


SITUATION REPORT:
TRADE AND SECURITY MEETING  
PRESIDENTS PUTIN (RUSSIA) & PRESIDENT ERDOGAN (TURKEY)
Photo Credit:  RT


President Putin: “(INAUDIBLE)… it is clear that this meeting is highly important for the future of the relations between Russia and Turkey. We’ve had a comprehensive and constructive… I would like to emphasize a constructive discussion on a broad range of issues including our bilateral relations on global issues.  Our relations between our two countries that have been through different times, including troubled [times], but common sense has always prevailed.  I would like to note that despite the challenging political situation at home, President Erdogan has found the time to come to Petersburg.  And this is testament to the determination and the willingness of our Turkish partners to restore their relationship with Russia. 

Today for we spoke first in a narrow format and then together with a minister's heads of agencies and companies that we outlined initial objectives there for a long term reservation of our relations.  Our aim is to reach the pre-crisis level of cooperation between our two countries.  This is an important task because within just the first five months of this year the trade turnover between Russia and Turkey it's a went down by more than 35-percent.  If we remember that last year it went down by twenty-four percent. Now we are looking at a lot of things to do if we need to revive our economic cooperation we must undertake a lot of measures.”


“We also will discuss the prospector for lifting the economic measures earlier imposed by them on each other.  We also will be discussing a program of cooperation in the areas of science and culture between 2016. We have agreed with President Erdogan to gradually revive our main mechanisms of collaboration this fall;  the commission of our high level of Cooperation Council is scheduled to meet and later the Joint Group for Strategic Planning. In this regard I would like to note that a key role in trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Turkey is a played by by energy. So we discussed that large joint projects in this area. 

Reason? Continuing them will require specific political decisions to be taken and I would like to emphasize that certain that Turkey has already taken a certain decisions on a number of important economic projects including the construction of a and atomic power plant into the Turkish stream pipeline. Also in our agenda is bringing back Russian tourists to turkey last month late last month so we lifted the ban on that selling travel towards Turkey to Russian customers. The most important objective here is for Turkey to ensure security for Russian tourists and we have seen such guarantees from Turkey and so we have looked at the option of resuming charter flights between Russia and Turkey.  I think this is a matter of time.”


“Also we examined the option for lifting the ban on engaging Turkish companies and individuals in economic projects in Russia.  I think this is attainable and we're looking at this option now. And I would like to note that cooperation between Russia and Turkey on important projects; soon here in Petersburg we will be launching the a certain leg of the Western Speed Diameter which is a joint project, and Turkish companies are also part of it.  

Photo Credit: RT

We also exchanged their opinions on the he international issues with President Erdogan…  and by the way also we agreed that after this press conference we will discuss in details that all the issues related to the crisis in Syria and how best to solve it.  We have a common understanding: that's fighting terrorism.  It’s one of the most important elements of our cooperation and we will talk about it in more detail later.  To conclude I would like to thank President Erdogan for the discussions we've had, for the deliberations we've had. I believe that we have all the necessary prerequisites and opportunities for restoring our relations between our two countries to the full extent.  Russia is ready and willing to do that.”

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United States "Liberal Media" are ignoring this significant meeting between President Putin and President Erdogan.... it has gone essentially unreported.  This is surprising given the amount of attention that the United States has recently paid toward Turkey after a failed Coup d'etat on July 15, 2016.  The United States has engaged in high level meetings with the Turkish Erdogan Cabinet, with only lukewarm results.  It has been widely reported that President Erdogan was less than pleased with certain members of the US / NATO military command (reasons are unsubstantiated / hearsay to the best of my knowledge).


This relatively uncovered event by the U.S. media is highly significant for the United States, as well as Europe and NATO.  The substance of this meeting was to discuss trade, terrorism, tourism, and finally, a pipeline to deliver natural gas through Turkey, establishing a critical infrastructure for energy.  This same pipeline, has been proposed before, except it would have taken a different path through Europe, called the "Southern Route."  This pipeline has met some levels of resistance with the European Commission in Brussels, President Erdogan stated.  Bulgaria is a key partner in the proposed pipeline, and that appears to be where some of the resistance to the Russian project lies.  However, both President Putin and President Erdogan, are in talks currently to discuss a new alternative, which will essentially bypass Europe, and descend through Turkey, which is a significant development.


Additionally, both Presidents Putin and Erdogan stated in the public press conference on Tuesday, that they believe there must be a Democratic Process to change the events unfolding in Syria.  This is an indication of sorts, that there may be some type of strain that is not being widely discussed regarding Turkey and its NATO alliance.  It would give the appearance that Turkey and Russia are forming a new type of alliance to make changes in Syria, although this is only going off the comments provided at the press briefing in St Petersburg, Russia.

FULL PRESS BRIEFING HERE (RT): https://youtu.be/TEyurZFirtU



This looks to be the start of a potential obstacle for NATO.... if Russia and Turkey really mend fences and start a natural gas pipeline, that will mean there is major incentive for Turkey to stay partnered with Russia over other countries, and in particular, NATO. Russian influence in Turkey could prevent United States military assets and bases from exerting influence in that country moving forward depending on how these talks finish out. More to follow if / when details become available.

The following is ALL of the discussion from Washington, DC on this meeting. It was basically acknowledged but quickly dismissed. This pattern has been seen multiple times from our State Department in the past, giving all of us reason to watch this situation closely. In "Diplo-Speak" when any question is "referred" to another government, there is generally a significant story underlying that needs to be watched:

The Only Mention of the Russia / Turkey Meeting was on 9 August, 2016 at the State Department