Putin's expected visit to Türkiye and the date problem

Turkey had hoped that Russian President Vladimir Putin would make his expected visit to Turkey on February 12, but Turkish officials recently informed the Russian “TASS” agency that the visit has been postponed to another date.

Because other previous dates set by Ankara for the visit had similar fates to the February 12 date, repeated postponements have become commonplace in the scene surrounding the visit, but this raises discussion about the date problem as much as it does. This parallels the tour itself.

Last April, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was expected to visit Turkey to attend the opening ceremony of the Akkuyu nuclear plant later the same month, but he later attended the ceremony via video.

Earlier this February, Russian media reported that Turkish banks began closing the accounts of Russian companies after the United States imposed additional sanctions on foreign banks that Washington claims are involved in supplying Russian military industrial supplies. Involved in transactions.

Last August, Erdogan was expected to visit again in the same month, but this also did not happen. Never before in the history of Turkish-Russian relations, as they have grown closer in recent years, has the two presidents been so uncertain about setting a date for each other's visit.

First of all, there are two incomprehensible problems regarding the travel time: First: Turkey was always the first country to set the dates without any Russian confirmation. Second: Russia did not deny Putin's intention to visit every time and was constantly talking about the issues that would be addressed, without specifying the date. It is difficult to clearly explain these two problems in relations between two countries that have been seeing strong momentum for years.

While the failure of the visit last April could be attributed to Putin's lack of attention at the time to the results of the Turkish presidential elections held last May. It remains to be known whether Erdogan will remain in power or not, but the failure to organize it on the second date after the elections i.e. last August and also on the last date 12th February raises questions on whether there are differences between the two countries which Prevents an agreement on appointment for travel.

What strengthens the validity of these questions is that in the previous canceled date for the visit, it was not only determined by Ankara, but also hinted at by Putin when he gave his speech on the occasion of the end of last year. Said at the annual press conference that he would visit Turkey at the beginning of the new year. At that time it was understood from his speech that this visit would take place in the first month of the new year or at the most in the second month.

Although Ankara and Moscow have not explicitly disclosed the existence of any possible differences that prevent them from agreeing on the date of the visit, there has been some tension in Turkish-Russian relations since the first date set by Erdogan for the visit. Listing notable developments may help explain the ambiguity. Its date.

About a month before the second canceled date last August, Turkey allowed five Ukrainian Azov leaders to return to their country, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who had visited Turkey last July, sparking protests from Moscow. , which accused Ankara of not complying with it. The agreement that allowed the departure… Azov leaders transferred Ukrainian territories to Turkey and remained there until the end of the war.

Earlier this February, Russian media reported that Turkish banks began closing accounts of Russian companies after the United States imposed additional sanctions on foreign banks that Washington claims were involved in Russian military industrial supply transactions. Are included in. Although Turkiye did not explicitly confirm these reports, a Kremlin spokesman said: Moscow is discussing with Ankara a solution to the issue.

Last January, Turkey signed a memorandum with Romania and Bulgaria to cooperate in the field of combating sea mines in the Black Sea region. It is a move on which Moscow did not comment, but which comes within the framework of Turkey's efforts to cooperate more closely. With countries ignoring the Black Sea basin, it views Russian policies in the Black Sea as a threat to the geopolitical balance in the region. Also in January, Turkey ratified Sweden's membership in NATO.

The continuity of Turkish-Russian relations in the era after the Russian war on Ukraine and the growth of trade between the two countries since that period, of course, do not hide the fact that this stability faces additional challenges. . Ankara's close ties with Ukraine and Kiev's expression of support for joining NATO led to Turkey's increased cooperation with other Black Sea Basin countries and Turkey's effort to improve its relations with the West.

It is still not clear whether the possible new date for completing the journey, which is the end of next April or the beginning of next May, will end this ambiguity surrounding the journey, but what is certain is that the conditions for conducting the journey The visit is not yet fully mature, and these circumstances are not related to choosing a suitable date as much as it is to providing an appropriate environment in Turkish-Russian relations that helps them to take place.

Agreeing on a travel date has become as important, and perhaps even more important, than the trip itself. From the ongoing Turkish pressure to repeatedly set dates for the visit and the persistent Russian claim that the visit will take place, it can be concluded that both countries aim to create a new turning point in the course of the expected visit. Turkish-Russian relations.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.

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