Putin and Erdogan met today in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana trying to establish safe – or “de-escalation” – zones in Syria to mitigate the humanitarian crisis. The meeting was part of the peace talks held in Kazakhstan where Russia, Turkey and Iran are working on the creation of safe zones in Syria which would hopefully lead to the cessation of hostilities and the protection of the civilian population in Syria. It is surprising how fast Russia and Turkey are leaving behind the tensions caused by Ankara’s shooting down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border in 2015. Putin said “the recovering process in now complete” and this is raising an eyebrow as to how easily such an act of war can be forgotten by Russia, dropping all the economic sanctions it had imposed on Turkey. Of course, Turkey has decided to drop its own retaliatory measures against Russia. The exact date of the removal of the mutual sanctions has not been announced yet. Although such developments reduce the prospects of conflict between the two countries, they should also teach a lesson to Greeks who hoped that Russia would show zero tolerance to the Turkish provocations and aggression in the Aegean Sea.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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