Russian media break down US ‘inconsistency’ on Turkey


Russian media highlighted on Thursday “inconsistent” U.S. policy towards Turkey following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump. 

State-run news agency RIA Novosti stressed it was important for Trump to find common ground with Turkey in view of upcoming presidential elections. It also noted that the U.S. changed its rhetoric from threats provoked by Turkey’s decision to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems, to attempts at conciliation.

“For the United States, Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 is, of course, a very serious challenge. Turkey is the second army in the North Atlantic Alliance [NATO]. In such a situation, [Turkey’s] unwillingness to cooperate with the U.S. gives reason to doubt the dominant role of the U.S. in the world,” it said, adding that when sanctions did not yield results, Washington turned to negotiation and conciliation by offering Erdogan “attractive deals”.

The daily Kommersant described Erdogan’s U.S. visit as “one of those rare international events that can cause genuine interest in dozens of capitals at once”.

Underlining the inconsistency of the Washington’s dealings with Turkey, it said the U.S. often switches between different tactics including threats, promises and blackmail.

The newspaper also doubted the possibility that Trump could fulfill his promises to Ankara, as he was currently under the threat of impeachment and at odds with congress, whose approval is required for most military deals.

The official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper also highlighted contradictory U.S. policy on Turkey, pointing to Washington’s unwillingness to “recognize Ankara’s right for an independent foreign policy”.

“Although the U.S. president is friendly with his Turkish counterpart, under pressure from the American elite, he has repeatedly been forced to crack down on Turkey,” the daily said, adding that the U.S. military and congress were “hostile” to Erdogan.

It also recalled “aggressive attacks” against the Turkish president, by the head of the U.S. Congress Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, suggesting that even if Trump has made proposals to Erdogan, it was not obvious that they would suit lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
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