Ukraine Monitor presents the latest news concerning internal and external matters of Ukraine – a unique country where the interests of the East and the West clash almost every day.
Date: 24 November 2021 Author: Mariusz Patey
Turkish Option in Ukrainian Politics
Turkey as a NATO member would be an interesting partner to Ukraine, albeit potentially unstable. Currently the Turkish-French conflict on the situation in Libya, Azerbaijan and Syria escalates. It’s a point for Ukraine.
The history of Cossack-Turkish relations is quite turbulent. The Cossacks successfully attacked Turkish settlements in 16th – 17th centuries. Turkish and Tatar forces oftentimes pillaged the lands of today’s Ukraine. However, after the death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, his son, understanding the threat from Moscow and not wanting to subordinate to the Polish Republic, turned to the Sultan for a protectorate. Nowadays, in the face of the passive attitude of European states to Ukraine’s expectations, we can observe an attempt of tightening the relations between Kiev and Ankara. Apart from a verbal support for the integrity of Ukrainian borders, Turkey has decided to cooperate their arms industry with Ukrainian partners. Turkey is also a potential guarantee of secure oil and perhaps even gas supply for Ukraine through the so-called southern transport corridor.
The issue is that Turkey is also cooperating with the Russian Federation. It makes money off of transporting Russian gas, purchasing Russian military equipment (famous anti-aircraft and anti-missile SS400 systems). Periods of tension related to conflicting interests in certain areas alternate with cooperation.
However, one should realize that the maximum of what Ukraine can gain from Turkey is the diplomatic support and the opportunity of purchasing modern military equipment. Turkey is not going to actively support Ukraine in case of a full-blown phase of war with Russia due to its still lower military potential, geographical distance and lack of political will. Turkey may be an interesting economical partner for Ukraine. It is a potentially large outlet for Ukrainian agriculture and an area of cooperation for i.e. defense industry.
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