That's why there will be no war between Russia and Turkey (maybe)

Unless the Turks don’thit other Russian aircraft, the downing of the Su-24 last Tuesday will hardly lead to an open confrontation with Russia. Despite the apocalyptic tones of TV and newspapers, it has not yet come the time of World War III.

Basically, Putin himself said it, when he said that the repetition of acts like this would destroy any possibility of cooperation between Russia and the West in the fight against Isis. Which is like saying that he can close one eye on a jet shot down,but he won’t do it twice.

Moreover, these words follow the statement on the day of the accident. "A stab in the back by those who support terrorists, that will lead to serious consequences in relations between Moscow and Ankara."

Apparently strong words, but in fact likewater on the fire. Because nobody has an interest in a war between two regional powers, neither Erdoğan nor Putin.

The two countries hadin 2014a trade exchange of USD 31bn. Andthet’s where the Kremlin will hit in the first place.

Sanctions and muscles

In the same hours the Russian president was sending subliminal messages that quieten the world, the channels of the Russian propaganda already started their counter-offensive. Life News showed travel agencies cancelling Turkey from their destinations, while RT sent a reporter in a grocery to show how to buy food avoiding Turkish products. And so did others.

At the same time, on a much more concrete level, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev announced economic sanctions on Turkey, stopping investments and projects and changing customs regulations.

On the military side, however, Russia has enough leeway. As of yesterday, the newest S400, the latest generation of anti-aircraft missiles, capable of reaching up to 80 targets simultaneously within 400 km, are deployed in Latakia. And again, Russian channels are covering the news widely. After all, Putin couldn’t avoid showing muscles, if only to satisfy the Russian audience.

Man of peace

But there is one aspect that should not be forgotten in this new crisis around Syria. Two years into the Ukrainian events that have shown the violent face of the Kremlin and led to heavy economic sanctions against Russia, Putin is finally seeing some genuine result of his efforts to be readmitted in the international clubs. And to do so he played the man of peace, from the so-called NormandyQuartettoendthe conflict in Donbass, through the offer of cooperation in the international coalition against the ISILduring his address to the UN General Assembly, to the intervention in Syria.

It’s unlikely of him to pass for the victim. Butaccepting that as it stood and avoidingto threaten military retaliation to Turkey is definitely in line with his image as a world leader working for peace. West of Istanbul, many started liking it.


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