Dances with the Bear: Turkey and Russia After Crimea

The Turkish-Russian relationship is a complex set of economic, identity and geopolitical factors, and the recent increase in bilateral contacts has substantially decreased the possibility of open confrontation between Ankara and Moscow. However, this relationship cannot be called a strategic partnership, at least not in its present form. Present geopolitical realities, security alliances, the difficult legacy of history and the changing economic environment seriously constrain the possibility for the establishment of that kind of partnership in the medium term. Certainly, a furthering of Turkey's authoritarian slide could result in a rapprochement between a Turkey drifting away from the West and Russia. However, the continuation of Russia's aggressive policy in the post-Soviet space can at the same time alienate Turkey. Ultimately, however, Turkey's policy towards Russia will strongly depend on the character of Russian-Western relations, with Turkey likely to maintain its Western orientation in the event of increased tensions between the West and Russia.

Paper produced within the framework of the project Turkey, Europe and the World.

Roma, Istituto affari internazionali, July 2014, 9 p.
Working paper 8
Publication date: 
1. We agreed to disagree ...
2. Gas pipelines, construction contracts and charter flights
3. Identity and history: the legacy of empires
4. What next?
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