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Friday, June 14, 2024

Is Turkey the strongest NATO member? Kremlin thinks so

In an interview with Belarusian state television, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov discussed relations with Turkey. He pointed out that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a great and strong political leader and said: "Turkey is a very significant regional power and country. Our relations with Turkey are excellent."

The Kremlin stated on Saturday that Ankara is a big regional force and the most powerful among all NATO member states, underlining Russia’s relations with Turkey.

In an interview with Belarusian state television, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov discussed relations with Turkey following the Istanbul talks between Russia and Ukraine.

He pointed out that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a great and strong political leader and said: “Turkey is a very significant regional power and country. Our relations with Turkey are excellent.”

Read more: Turkey’s Erdogan asks Putin for ceasefire

Turkey and Russia headed towards stronger ties?

He noted that there are different views on relations between the two countries and at some points, the sides do not fully agree with each other.

“But the relationship based on mutual interests is dominant, so the two countries are developing big economic projects.”

“Turkey has always been a sufficiently large regional power, and Turkey has been a member of NATO for many years,” he said. “However, despite this, it became the most dominant state among the NATO member sovereign states, especially during the presidency of Erdoğan. And this country is a country that has the luxury of defending its interests.”

Citing that Turkish authorities told NATO and the United States that Ankara was not interested in participating in sanctions against Russia, Peskov said it is also economically important that Turkey and Russia continue the dialogue.

“This is very valuable. We attribute a lot of value to it,” he said.

Read more: Israel & Turkey looking to renew friendship

The future seems promising

Referring to strengthening cooperation between Turkey and Russia in tourism and energy, he noted: “We have a good perspective with Turkey.”

“We are pleased that Erdoğan has found the strength to defend and follow his interests, the interests of his country and is not in the mainstream (like Europe).

“As you know, now all Europeans are in the mainstream but on their own account,” he said.

“They spend, Washington makes money. Because of its anger at Russia, Europe is shooting itself in the foot,” he said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, has sparked international condemnation, with the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom, among others, imposing harsh financial sanctions on Moscow.

Read more: Turkey detents journos insulting President Erdogan

According to UN estimates, at least 1,325 civilians have been killed and 2,017 injured in Ukraine, with the true figure expected to be much higher. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 4.1 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced (UNHCR).