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Despite their sharp disagreements over the civil war in Syria, Russia and Turkey have managed to strengthen bilateral ties, primarily through top-level diplomacy executed by President Putin and Prime Minister Erdoğan. Energy matters, which used to constitute the central element of the relationship, have lost much of their urgency as new supply sources have transformed the global energy market. Bracketing out disagreements, Turkey and Russia seek to use their cooperation for achieving a more prominent status in the evolving international system than their economic performance would warrant. It is the escalation of domestic discontent that drives the two leaders closer, as urgency in opposing revolutions becomes their common ideological platform. This unity will be tested by the inevitable new spasms of turmoil and increasingly probable elite splits.

 

CONTRIBUTOR
Pavel K. Baev
Pavel K. Baev

Dr. Pavel K. Baev is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). The author appreciates the support from US Russia Strategy Inititative (RSI) for his research on European security.

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