Neighbours should take Turkey’s alliance with Russia seriously - Jerusalem Post

A growing defence and energy alliance between Russia and Turkey will have long-lasting effects on the Middle East and Israel as Moscow and Ankara become closer they will inevitably cooperate more to end the war in Syria and other international issues, wrote analyst Seth Frantzman for the Jerusalem Post.

Turkey has moved away from its traditional alliance with the United States towards closer ties with Russia, Qatar and Iran, Frantzman said. 

“In the long term, a closer block of Russia-Syria-Iran-Turkey-Qatar may emerge, alongside other powerful states such as China, India, and central Asian actors, some of which seek to challenge the U.S.,” he said.

“It is clear that a defence and energy alliance is growing. Israel has its own energy interests in the Mediterranean and its own defence relationships. The long-term effect of the Russia-Turkey alliance is in its infancy, but joint defence work and energy exploration should be taken more seriously by neighbours in the Middle East,” Frantzman said.

Turkey and the United States have become increasingly estranged over the Turkish government’s acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence missiles, U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish forces who defeated Islamic State in Syria, and the U.S. refusal to extradite Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, the man Turkey blames for its 2016 failed coup.

The United States has suspended Turkey from the programme to help build and operate F-35 stealth fighter jets over its purchase of the Russian S-400s and could impose economic sanctions as well.

Turkey has stockpiled parts for its fleet of F-16 fighters jets in preparation for a possible deterioration of its relationship with the United States, the National Interest magazine said.