Երեքշաբթի, 28. 05. 2024

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Why Is Turkey Demining Border with Armenia?

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia  met in Kars earlier this week.
The meeting is passed under new realities, namely development of new pipelines, Russia’s attempts to improve its relations with Turkey and the EU plans to thwart the Russian-Turkish alliance.
The prime minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron also visited Turkey in an attempt to involve Turkey in more active fight against the Islamic State. Yesterday Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was in Ankara too. The EU promised to do everything to accelerate Turkey’s membership to the Union. A few days ago Putin also visited Turkey.
Like 100 years ago, Turkey is at the same time the most likely candidate for strategic “tearing to pieces” and the most desirable tactical partner. 100 years ago the Ottoman Empire had lost half of its territories but was able to keep the core of its territories thanks to tactical diplomacy.
Currently Turkey is trying to protect its integrity and strengthen its defense and therefore can be allies with anyone.  Russia could be a good match for Turkey in case Ankara feels too much pressure from the West.
One of the tools of pressure is the Armenian issue, and if Ankara feels that Russia can eliminate this issue, it may make a compromise with Russia. For example, Turkey is said to have recently announced bidding for demining the borders with Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Why is Turkey demining the border with Armenia? Is there a preliminary agreement on opening the Armenian-Turkish border after the membership of Armenia to the Eurasian Union? In fact, after membership Turkey will border with the Eurasian Union, not Armenia. The fate of this border will be determined by the Eurasian Commission, especially if Ankara agrees to create a free trade area with the Eurasian Economic Union.
Interestingly, according to the Turkish press, Turkey may leave the EU Customs Union. This sounded like a warning to the West and Cameron immediately left for Turkey.
Notably, speaking about improvement of relations with Russia, Turkish experts note that trade is hindered by too high customs duties set by Russia. It is not known whether Putin promised in Ankara to review the duties but obviously the Armenian-Turkish border may soon become an indicator of Turkey’s strategic choice.

 www.lragir.am

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