Many people emphasize on the phrase “the strong Eurasia”, however; they ignore the significance of Turkey’s role on this point.
The notion of “Eurasia” is not certainly identified in terms of a known definition. It is quite obvious that Turkey is counted as a Middle East country by the Russian Federation. Therefore, according to the Russian government, the good associations and effective cooperation with Turkey, refer to the stability in the Middle East. Furthermore, they pave the way for security in not only Eurasia, but the adjacent states as well.
Nowadays, Turkey discourses the concept of “New Eurasia” which is one of the essential foreign policy tools of Turkey. This term is based on the combination between the Europe and the developing Asia. Putin alleges that Russia and Turkey can play a role together on the developing Asia.
As far as I am concerned, so as to maximize Russian national interests, Putin pursues the expansionist foreign policy. Hence, along with enhancing the reciprocal interests with Turkey, Russia wants to continue its’ domination over the Middle East.
Turkey is strategically significant country for the Middle East policies, in the eyes of Russia. Turkey has also some important interests from Russia which are fundamentally economic and trade agreements, energy supply, tourism and seeking for axis versus the contrast Western policies. The most essential one is the economic and trade relations which is the driving force behind the bilateral relations of Turkey and Russia. They are significant trade partners, thus, they have some commercial investments and treaties with each other.
Nowadays, Russian companies have paid close attention to invest in the fields of telecommunications, energy and tourism in Turkey. If last year’s data is taken into consideration, it is seen that the trade turnover between two countries is explained as $30 billion.
Along with the trade vitality between Russia and Turkey, tourism sector has gradually enhanced its capacity, due to the good diplomatic relations between these two states.
In terms of the energy sector, Russia and Turkey have strived for completing the construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant until 2023. With regards to the Turkish industry, it has attained new opportunities due to the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Project because it has taken part in this project more than the Russian industry. Therefore, Turkish industry will most probably gain ground on the Russian industry owing to the reliable cooperation between Turkey and Russia.
The Turkish contractor firms take all necessary precautions for Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant which is two collaborative governments’ initiated project. With the Russian Federation’s support, this project is based on the standards and principles of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Thus, the term of “New Eurasia” initiates to demonstrate itself in the international arena.
Regarding the Eurasian Economic Union, it includes almost all states in Eurasia and it aims at being a comprehensive and supranational union exactly like the European Union. The process of the establishment of Eurasian Economic Union initiated with the Customs Union Agreement which was signed in 1995. It is quite obvious that the Eurasian Economic Union targets to the free circulation of goods, services, capital and labor. Because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the chaos appeared in the region.
After collapse, the past union countries which are now within the scope of the Commonwealth of Independent States experience some security problems and they need to the safety needs all over the region. When they gained their independences, they suffered from some social, political, economic problems and hence, they encountered some potential problems such as instability, terrorism, drug trafficking and transport infrastructure needs. However, the cooperation in the Eurasia paves the way for coping with those problems in a peaceful way. Accordingly, those states can continue to be independent inside, but they protect each other against the dangers outside and develop themselves as a union. They should act in harmony as local communities and try to strengthen the Eurasia together.
All in all, in the light of the information which is given above, the phrase “New Eurasia” refers to the associations and cooperation among the states which are across the region of Eurasia. Turkey plays a key role to actualize the conditions of New Eurasia. From this point of view, some essential problems such as a lack of security and stability, terrorism, transport infrastructure needs, and drug trafficking can be solved across the Eurasia. Therefore, Turkey and the Russian Federation should continue their partnership for their common foreign policy interests.
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Graduated from Bilkent University, department of International Relations
Graduated from Hacettepe University – Master Degree – department of International Relations