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Russian press dominated by Putin-Erdogan meeting

10 August 2016
Russian press dominated by Putin-Erdogan meeting

Russian press dominated by Putin-Erdogan meeting

BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union

Russian press dominated by Putin-Erdogan meeting


The following is a selection of quotes from articles published in the 10 August editions of Russian newspapers, as available to the BBC at 0100 gmt on 10 August:

Putin, Erdogan meet in St Petersburg
Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St Petersburg on 9 August, marking the first meeting between the two since a Russian warplane was downed by the Turkish air force in late 2015.

Kommersant (influential business daily) - "At the meeting of the Russian and Turkish presidents the two sides did everything they could to show their readiness to restore and boost frozen economic cooperation." (from an article by Yuri Barsukov et al. titled "Close encounters of any kind"; bit.ly/2aY8MuH)

Komsomolskaya Pravda (pro-Kremlin tabloid) - "Not just a nine- month break in relations, but practically a 'cold war' between Russia and Turkey is over." (from an article by Dmitry Smirnov and Abbas Dzhuma titled "Putin to Erdogan: 'We all want relations to be restored'"; bit.ly/2b581kH)

Moskovsky Komsomolets (popular daily) - "Both Putin and Erdogan have found themselves in the international arena in a situation that could be characterised as close to isolation. For both of them, rapprochement is first and foremost a way to break the isolation and mildly blackmail the West...

"For the first time in many years Russia has got the chance to drive a wedge into the heart of NATO... Russia has got additional leverage to exert pressure on the West: if you don't want to negotiate with us on key issues, no problem, we will deepen our cooperation with Turkey!

"While dealing with Erdogan's regime in this completely new international situation, Moscow can score a lot of political points...

"Signs have appeared that [Syrian President Bashar] Al-Assad's regime is again running out of steam. It's a very alarming sign for Russia... I sincerely hope that Moscow and Ankara will be able... to reach an agreement on Syria." (from a column by Mikhail Rostovsky called "Union of two lonely hearts"; bit.ly/2aL0mWF)

Izvestia (pro-government daily) - "The Russian and Turkish presidents have decided to restore relations to the previous level. Mutual economic benefit was their motivation...

"Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that they had turned over a sad page in the history of relations between the two countries... But one could see who was the guilty party. And one could feel that the guilt was accepted." (from an article by Yegor Sozayev-Guryev headlined "Moscow and Ankara make up in the interest of both nations"; bit.ly/2b76M5T)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta (centrist daily) - "According to deputy director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Research Anna Glazova... the meeting in St Petersburg 'is nothing but the restoration of ties that the countries had had for 15 years until they were severed after the destruction of a Russian warplane'." (from an article by Yevgeny Medvedev headlined "Putin and Erdogan decide to begin from scratch"; bit.ly/2aYbGj0)

Novaya Gazeta (liberal thrice-weekly) - "Erdogan... arrived in Russia in an emphatic gesture to tell his Western allies that the priorities of Turkey's foreign policy had changed...

"When starting his own cold war against Germany and, therefore, the entire European Union, the Turkish president needed allies. And the Kremlin was the best fit for the job: Russia has been living under sanctions for two years now; the Russian political elite is turning into international outcasts; propaganda has saturated public opinion with anti-Western sentiments...

"It looks like the Turkish president is bending back over backwards to play along with his Russian counterpart while consciously turning a blind eye to the real situation... The Turkish side did not make a slightest hint about changing its policy on Syria. For Erdogan, Bashar al-Assad remains an unacceptable figure." (from an article by Alexander Chursin titled "May the friendly hand never wither"; bit.ly/2b5dWXg)

Vedomosti (business daily) - "'Little was said about Syria in public, and, I believe, this proves that disagreements persist,' says Yelena Suponina, an advisor to the RISI director. Given the fact that Moscow is not going to review its stance, it is Erdogan who should take the first step toward reconciliation, says the expert... 'The Turkish leadership's attitude to Al-Assad is strictly negative, but I think some changes are emerging and they are starting to realise that he should stay for the interim period, because it is the only surviving institution without which nothing could be done,' says chief researcher at the Oriental Studies Institute of RAS Irina Zvyagelskaya." (from an article by Alexei Nikolsky et al. titled "War and friendship"; bit.ly/2aL4KVN)

Argumenty i Fakty (popular weekly, often taking a nationalist line) www.aif.ru - "Relations between the West and Turkey have been sharply aggravated... Europe is offended and outraged.

"Against the backdrop of these events, Erdogan is trying to play the Russia card at lightning speed. Teasing both Washington and Brussels, he is demonstratively extending a hand to Moscow. He is travelling to St Petersburg, pursing his lips for a kiss. Inviting Putin to Turkey for a friendly football match, as if illustrating the renewal of 'personal relations'. Economic 'Turkish delight' has also been brought into play: Turkey has agreed to renew talks over the 'Turkish Stream' gas pipeline. What is this? A dash of love, arising from who-knows-where? Or, by scaring Europe with closeness with Russia, does Erdogan want to outplay the EU, at the same time forcing the Europeans to close their eyes to the orgy of open terror in Turkey?" (from an article by Vyacheslav Kostikov headlined "Turkish delight from Erdogan"; bit.ly/2aLc0kp)