Putin Lifts Tourism Ban to Turkey, Normalized Relations to Follow?
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article
discussed Erdogan’s hollow apology to Putin for the willful downing of a Russian warplane in Syrian airspace – an act of war, a treacherous “stab in the back,” according to Russia’s president at the time.
Both countries have irreconcilable differences on Syria. Allied with Washington, NATO and other rogue partners, Erdogan supports ISIS and other terrorist groups, wants Assad toppled, northern parts of the country annexed, the Syrian Arab Republic’s sovereignty destroyed.
Putin wants peaceful conflict resolution, Syrian independence and territorial integrity preserved and protected.
So why is he willing to deal with a ruthless despot, an international outlaw, a war criminal, a man he called “an accomplice of terrorists” – why when nothing in prospect will likely bridge the huge chasm between the agendas of both countries?
Yet following Erdogan’s hollow outreach, he agreed to lift the ban on Russian tourism to Turkey – during a phone conversation between both leaders he initiated.
According to a Kremlin press statement, he “instructed the government to enter into negotiations with the relevant Turkish authorities to restore mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic and other spheres” – including lifting the ban on Russian tourists visiting Turkey.
Both leaders stressed “the necessity to intensify international cooperation in the fight against the common terrorist threat.”
Fact: Putin means it. He’s genuine, candid, forthright – a mensch. He says what he means and means what he says.
Fact: Erdogan is polar opposite – ruthless, lawless, duplicitous. His policies challenge Russia’s geopolitical agenda, wanting it undermined.
According to the Kremlin press service, both leaders “agreed to consider the possibility of…meeting in the near future.” Their discussion “aimed at restoring the traditionally friendly character of a multi-faced bilateral cooperation.”
On July 1, Sergey Lavrov will meet his Turkish counterpart during the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Putin indicated normalizing Russia/Turkey relations began – following receipt of Erdogan’s letter and issues both leaders discussed by phone.
Will normalization begin a new era of Turkish/Russia relations, their leaders supporting the same anti-terrorism world peace agenda?
Will America end its imperial project, renounce war, slash its military spending, and pay generous reparations to surviving families of its millions of victims?
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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