Can Timely Diplomacy Avert a Second Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict?

Azerbaijan and Armenia entered into a fresh round of violence soon after midnight on Tuesday, 13 September, each accusing the other of undue provocation and claiming to have responded ‘proportionately’.

Based on the information currently available, Azerbaijan is said to have fired mortar shells at Armenian troops stationed along the border. Azerbaijan defends this move by claiming that Armenian forces were amassing ammunition and setting up landmines along the border, and had even fired at Azerbaijani posts, bringing the Azerbaijani border districts under threat. These districts include Lachin which had until recently been under the control of Russian peacekeeping troops under the terms of the 2020 ceasefire agreement, and had been handed over to the Azerbaijani forces last month.

Losses on Both Sides

The attacks took place near three important cities on the Armenian side, Jermuk, Goris and Sotk, according to a statement issued by the Armenian Defense Ministry, resulting in a loss of 49 Armenian soldiers. Armenia’s defense ministry claims that attacks were also made against civilian infrastructure and struck near several villages and towns near the border with Azerbaijan. The losses on the Azerbaijani side have not been reported or confirmed although the Defense Ministry has acknowledged damage to its military installations.

Western Interests and Positions on the Clashes

This latest flare-up between two important countries of the South Caucuses has regional as well as international implications. At a time when the neighborhood is suffering from the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war and tense negotiations between the US and Iran, another conflict in the region could spell disaster for peace. It is not surprising then that major world powers have been spurred to action to quell the rising tension between the two nations.

Responding to the Armenian outreach, US Secretary of State has called for both sides to end hostilities immediately, while sending a warning out to Russia to avoid any misadventures that could exacerbate the situation.

French President Macron has also requested both sides to abide by the 2020 ceasefire agreement and has stated that it will submit the matter to the UN Security Council.

The EU has recently been making diplomatic overtures towards both countries in order to replace Russia as the primary mediator in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflicts, and even offered a new peace treaty to both countries. Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU’s foreign policy chief has called upon both countries to cease hostilities immediately and go back to negotiations. Additionally, the President of the European Council Charles Michel has stated the EU’s readiness to take steps for preventing further escalation and restore peace in the region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come out in full support of ally Azerbaijan by demanding that Armenia desist all provocative actions against it.

Russia Scrambles to Mediate

As expected, Moscow has taken serious note of these developments as it cannot afford another conflict in its backyard that would distract it from the ongoing Ukraine operation, where it has suffered some setbacks recently, especially territorial losses in the Kharkiv region, when key towns in the area were retaken by Ukrainian forces.

Nonetheless, responding to Armenia’s request to intervene under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) of which Russia and Armenia are members, but Azerbaijan is not, Moscow has stepped in to bring both the parties to the negotiation table and restore the ceasefire. According to Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson of the Kremlin, President Putin is actively engaging leaders on both sides to resolve the tension at the earliest.

Implications for Russia’s Regional Involvement

If the two sides continue to escalate the violence despite regional and international efforts, the implications for Russia’s role in the region could be significant. Long regarded as the mediator of first instance in all disputes in the Caucuses, Russian supremacy both in Central Asia and the Caucuses may be challenged by Turkey, which allies itself strongly with Azerbaijan, as well as China. Not to mention the role of the EU, which has launched an aggressive charm offensive to wean away the two countries from Russian influence.

More important is the question of how long Russian can invest its energies in the Ukraine conflict at the cost of peace along the rest of its 20,241-kilometre border. For western powers desiring to divert Russia’s focus from its actions in Ukraine and ultimately bring the country down to its knees, such regional tensions could be very beneficial.

A new migrants crisis is brewing on the Poland border

 

When the US left Afghanistan with many unanswered questions and a dramatic withdrawal made a mess around the world, then the migrants’ crisis was an inevitable phenomenon and could not be ruled out its repercussion on Europe.

This hasty withdrawal was raised many problems and uncertainties it also once again triggered the migrant flow to Europe.

The recent crisis that is brewing on the Poland border and the security forces battling to control the migrant flux seem to hit another migrant crisis to Europe that may increase in the coming days. 

Around 2000 migrants including children and women in the chilling weather conditions are trying to enter Poland. The tension is rising amid when the Polish Prime Minister blamed Russia for orchestrating this crisis on the Belarus border.

On the other hand, the EU slapped more sanctions on Belarus for the migrant’s escalation towards Europe.

Europe Energy Crisis, a failure of European Leaders

 

As Europe is sinking into the worst Energy Crisis of recent years the western media is playing the Russian rhetoric despite highlighting the European leader’s incompetencies and the wrong policies due to Europeans are facing these days.

There have been already predicted that the Europeans have to pay a huge price to keep them warm this winter. But the media is trying to divert the attention of the European citizens towards Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Europe doesn’t waste any chance to scapegoat Russia for its failures. By admitting their own failure and incompetent energy policy it’s easy to blame Russia.

The western media is trying to move the issue towards Moscow that Russia can play the energy as a political weapon. The right to make political weapons on such commodities has only to Europe, the US, UK, and its allies? Because such kinds of slogans have been always raised from the west like power riots and regime change due to cater to the energy demands of the west.

Russian President Vladimir Putin categorically rejected all these accusations during his address at the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow. He said that it’s nonsense that Russia is using energy as a political weapon. However, Putin said that Russian can provide more gas to Europe. He said that Russian even provided gas to Europe in the Cold War times.

Europe is at the crossroad as for as Energy needs are concerned. European leaders have no concrete plans but during the energy forum, Russian President Putin stressed this thing that Europe should have some plans to handle its increasing energy crisis.

The Caucasus Conflict: Why Azerbaijani Lavy Taxes from Iranian Trucks What Next?

The Caucasus Conflict: Azerbaijani Lavy Taxes from Iranian Trucks What Next?

The Caucasus Center is launching its special series of analyses on the Iran-Azerbaijan emerging border conflict. We will publish the various possible simulations in the coming weeks. We are going to closely monitor the situation and publish the objective analysis.

If you are interested to submit your Simulation, you can send us at eamil:

info AT thecaucasuscenter DOT org and we will publish it with your name and title.

Don’t forget to send your full name, email address, phone, and title.

The Caucasus Center

Russian led trilateral drills imply a show of power

Trilateral Russian, Tajik and Uzbek military exercises to commence along the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border gestures a powerful message against any kind of intervention in the CIS countries amid Russia boots the arms supply to the Central Asian countries.

With the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the neighboring countries beef up their security to control any kind of hostile situation as the result of the Taliban’s possible intervention. The Tajikistan government is alarmed about the increasing tension in Afghanistan.

The US and NATO forces’ exit create a huge security vacuum that led to massive unrest and insurgency in Afghanistan. The country leading towards a worst every anarchy and civil war. Afghanistan’s military strength is much more powerful than the Taliban’s and the Taliban’s narrative of overtaking the control of Afghanistan is still a dream.

Taliban are facing massive resistance both from the Afghan National Army and the people of Afghanistan. Things are pretty much different as compared to the 1990s.

Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan kicked off their largest-ever military drill Border-2021 that shows that the country is fully capable to meet any kind of challenging situation.

After the capturing of the key border crossings Uzbek- and Tajik-Afghan, the trilateral military and air drills are a powerful message to the Taliban’s who are posing a serious threat to the neighboring countries.

Russian is working on two simultaneous strategies, one by beefing up the security of the CIS countries and the other hand engaging in the political dialogue with the Taliban.

More recently Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu discussed measures to counter the emerging Taliban’s threat to his Tajik counterpart according to the TASS News agency.

Tajikistan is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in which Russia has a huge obligation to defend the member of this treaty.

Russia-U.S. Relations in Europe: Perceptions, Challenges, Strategies, & Solutions

Artem Kvartalnov

The current deadlock in U.S.-Russia relations seems to have engulfed nearly all dimensions of bilateral interaction and directly or indirectly affected many regions of the world. However, we should not overlook the fact that the current crisis originated in Europe in 2014 – when the long-standing dispute on the future of Eastern European countries escalated into a political conflict structured around Ukraine. The centrality of Europe to disagreements between Washington and Moscow makes Russian-American rapprochement hardly possible without a consensus on European issues. If there is to be a pathway to reconciliation, then it starts with examining America’s and Russia’s reputation in Europe, understanding the disagreements that exist, and the strategies that drive those disagreements. Only then will it possible to carve out meaningful solutions.

Washington’s Image & Moscow’s Image in Europe

Although the U.S. and Russia maintain very different stances on the situation in Europe, both countries face similarly negative perceptions in the region. In 2018, only 34% of the Dutch, 44% of Swedes, 30% of Germans, and 38% of the French viewed the US positively, while 64% of Germans called German-American relations “bad” in 2019. Russia’s image has been even poorer: last year, Russia was viewed favorably by only 23% in the Netherlands, 12% in Sweden, 35% in Germany, and 33% in France. In general, European attitudes towards Russia have remained relatively negative over the years; whereas, the U.S. enjoyed higher levels of support under the Obama Administration as recent as 2014-15.

Ironically, Washington’s loss of reputation in Europe is partly attributable to changes in the U.S. strategy on Russia. In 2014-16, the United States endeavored to stick to a common approach with the EU on the sanctions issue. Later, American policymakers departed from trans-Atlantic unity and adopted a firmer stance, introducing new anti-Russian measures even if they were not in line with the preferences and expectations of European allies. This shift in America’s foreign policy coincided with the weakening of the European consensus on Russia, which became evident in Emmanuel Macron’s interview with The Economist in 2019. When the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, this step was explicitly condemned by prominent European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the new restrictions certainly violated the EU’s interests.

On top of that, the U.S. and Russia are frequently portrayed as equally severe threats to stability in the European region. In 2019, France and Germany established the Alliance for Multilateralism. Its main message is clear: “Multilateralism founded on respect for international law is the only reliable guarantee for international stability and peace.” This message is certainly directed at both Moscow and Washington. In 2018, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that “The U.S. under Donald Trump will not play the same role that it has in the past.” And the Trump administration has reiterated that it expects more from its European allies. Maas also stated that “Russia has been acting in an increasingly hostile manner,” which is a testament to the established narrative and presumptions regarding Russia’s motives in the region.

Regional Challenges

The U.S. and Russia not only need to improve their reputation in Europe but also have to deal with enormous regional security challenges. The present crisis in U.S.-Russia relations has virtually destroyed Europe as a coherent geopolitical region. Europe is now divided into the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Moreover, pan-European cooperation mechanisms, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), have failed to reverse the growing trend towards exclusive sub-regional arrangements and unilateralism. Accordingly, Europe has become less secure in the military sense. The demise of arms control treaties, such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), jeopardizes peace and stability in the region. Third, the emergence of new dividing lines in Europe has exacerbated the problem of “in-between” states. Such countries as Ukraine and Moldova have turned into “objects of a contest among outside powers.” Thus, causing their place in the European security architecture to be unclear. The United States and Russia are the only actors in a position to address these challenges, as any solution without their participation and endorsement would be unsustainable.

Strategic Outlook

Washington and Moscow have fundamentally different approaches to Europe. The over-arching disagreement is on what Europe is and what it is not. From Russia’s perspective, Russia itself is an integral part of Europe as a member of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, which is why one cannot speak of European security without heeding Russia’s positions. Therefore, Russian policymakers believe that NATO cannot ensure peace and stability in the region single-handedly, as the alliance cannot be seen as reflecting the interests of all European nations. Washington’s view is that the word “Europe” primarily refers to the European Union, NATO, and inherently “western” countries. For the U.S., Europe is not about geography, but about ideology and politics. These notions have guided U.S. foreign policy since the beginning of the Cold War. Ultimately, leading to the current geopolitical climate that exists today.

As a result, the United States and Russia have had differing opinions with regard to providing security in Europe from the very beginning of the post-bipolar era. Washington has emphasized its commitment to protecting its European allies against all kinds of regional and transregional threats through deploying the NATO missile defense system, strengthening transatlantic cooperation, and expanding what Washington sees as the area of peace and democracy. Moreover, the U.S. has struggled to prevent the establishment of any kind of independent European defense force. Washington has succeeded in this undertaking, as even the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), launched by EU countries in 2018, has limited capacity to serve as a basis for independent European defense. Moscow, for its part, has stressed the need to advance disarmament and arms control in the region in order to establish a common security space from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Nevertheless, as is often the case, practice is different from theory.

Russia regarded NATO enlargement, as well as Washington’s intent to create a regional missile defense system as directed against Moscow, which was and still is hard to refute. Later, the U.S. faced criticism from Moscow over Washington’s attempts to isolate Russia from other post-Soviet countries and to undermine Russian integration projects in the region. The Russian Federation has in turn been repeatedly accused of destabilizing Europe politically and militarily. As a form of soft power projection, the Kremlin uses “frozen conflicts” and Russian minorities in the post-Soviet area to put pressure on countries of the region and to prevent their potential accession to the EU and NATO. This is exactly why the U.S. deems it necessary to counteract Russian policies in Eastern Europe: the 2014 events in Ukraine were perceived by Washington as a part of some broader strategy. Additionally, Russia has been criticized for actively working on new types of weapons and deploying modern weapon systems on its Western border (see Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad). The Kremlin, though, views its military activities as a legitimate response to Washington’s plans for European missile defense.

What is at stake?

The modern situation in Europe is typically referred to as a geopolitical contest or a new Cold War. However, this vision appears to be not entirely accurate: as noted above, U.S.-Russia tensions in the region initially resulted from minor ideological disagreements on the European security architecture, which were later exacerbated by Washington’s attempts to put into practice its own conception of Europe. We have enough evidence to say that Washington and Moscow have little to debate.

1. There is no zero-sum game.

During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union represented competing patterns of social, economic, and political development. Therefore, European countries belonging to one bloc were “lost” to the other party, and Soviet-American relations were portrayed as a zero-sum game. This is not the case anymore, as Armenia, Belarus and other member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are by no means lost to Washington or Brussels. For instance, the EU and Armenia signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement in 2017, although Armenia is often viewed as a part of Russia’s “sphere of influence.”

2. The U.S. and Russia are not immediate threats to each other.

The Soviet Union was actively involved in numerous conflicts all over the world, including those in Latin America, which was seen in Washington as an area of specific interest. U.S. troops and weapon systems in Europe were instrumental in America’s deterrence and containment strategies, which served to restrict Soviet activities in other regions of the world. Nevertheless, times have changed; it was hypothetically possible to call the U.S.S.R. “organically expansionist,” as the idea of a world revolution had never been totally dismissed by the Kremlin before the 1980s. On the contrary, today’s Russia has never had similar ideas or plans. More importantly, Moscow has little leverage over political developments in other countries, which makes any attempts to defend Europe against Russia a waste of money.

3. Russia does not oppose democracy – it is a democracy.

It is sometimes argued that Russia should be contained simply because it violates democratic norms and principles, which are at the core of American values. There is certainly no denying the fact that democratic institutions in the post-Soviet area are insufficiently developed, but there is no link between democracy and membership in Russian-led integration structures either. In 2018, Armenia experienced a series of anti-government protests that led to a transfer of power. In 2017, Kyrgyzstan went through its first peaceful change of government through presidential elections. It seems that Russia made no attempt to alter the course of events either in Armenia or Kyrgyzstan, although both countries are members of the Russian-led EAEU.

What is to be done?

Principally, the United States and Russia should put an end to using Europe as an arena for political showdowns if they intend to retain influence and restore their reputation in the region. Together, both nations should endeavor to re-establish the European arms control framework, as a military build-up is highly unlikely to contribute positively to regional peace and security. The U.S. and Russia should revisit their European strategies and adopt an open-door policy towards the region. European and Eurasian integration projects are not irreconcilable; accession to the EAEU does not hamper cooperation with Brussels and Washington. Likewise, EU membership does not interfere with productive collaboration with Moscow. Europeans should be free to choose among alternative options, and no choice can be viewed as a security threat to any party since this threat simply does not exist. Finally, Washington and Moscow should learn to treat European nations as independent and sovereign actors that can make autonomous decisions. When Germany refuses to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite American pressure, it is a sovereign decision in accordance with German national interests rather than a Russian subversion campaign. Similarly, pro-EU and pro-NATO sentiments in Russia’s “near abroad” are not necessarily attributable to the work of U.S.-funded NGOs. If American and Russian decision-makers base their policies on facts rather than historical prejudices, they will eventually realize that most problems in Russian-American relations derive from misperceptions and misunderstandings rather from irreconcilable differences.

Artem Kvartalnov is a Policy Researcher at The Russian Public Affairs Committee (Ru-PAC). His research primary areas include democratization, international security, and European security.

New oil reality without OPEC+

Recently, we have witnessed the largest drop in oil prices due to the collapse of the deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia. It all started in early 2017 when the Saudi-Russian alliance countries (OPEC and other oil-producing countries, including Russia) began to negotiate agreements to reduce crude production, which led to positive results: the average oil price rose to 66 United States dollar per barrel by the end of 2017 and continued to rise.

At the last meeting, Saudi Arabia proposed reducing the volume of oil produced by another 1.5 million barrels by the end of 2020, a large share depended on the decision of Russia. It was assumed that amid the spread of coronavirus, such an oil price scenario would lead to an increase in income for OPEC + countries, whose economy is heavily dependent on oil exports.

However, the OPEC + alliance could not agree on an additional reduction in production, despite large concessions to Saudi Arabia, Russia refused to extend the OPEC + terms. Saudi Arabia reacted to Russia’s decision with a “price war” in the oil market, which reduced world oil prices by almost 30%. As a result, from March 9, 2020, the oil market actually returned to production levels in 2016, when the price of Brent crude oil fell below 30 US dollars per barrel. This indicator gives a clear understanding of the fact that a large excess of oil is accumulating in the world, due to the negative economic consequences of the coronavirus.

It can be argued that Saudi Arabia, which has a huge reserve in foreign exchange reserves, is more than convinced of its strength in resisting the fall in profits in the interests of achieving a long-term goal. However, what did Russia hope for when it took a fateful step, thereby putting at risk not only its own economy but also almost all countries with a commodity economy? The answer to this question is vague but is still there.

It must be understood that Russia did not refuse to lower oil prices, which is causing large-scale damage to its own economy. It most likely refused a deal in order to harm the American shale industry. Shares of small and medium-sized American shale companies are now in free fall – in recent days, the value of some of them fell by 45%. Russia’s risky game may enable it to punish the largest US shale company for its deal with Venezuela in February 2020.

Therefore, it can be assumed that the American oil shale market was at least one of the reasons why Russia abandoned the OPEC plan since the joint work to maintain high oil prices would only help the United States. Russia will now have to come up with a new scenario for the development of an event in which it will not return to cooperation with either Saudi Arabia or the United States.

On the trajectory of such a strategy by Russia, of course, the United States will have to commit to losing part of the industry in shale oil, but the United States has many other reserves and this loss will be just like a loss of tip-off.

What’s next?

It is difficult to predict what will happen next and what further impact oil will have on the global economy, given that the consequences of the new coronavirus will only exacerbate this situation. Nevertheless, there are a number of countries whose economies are the most vulnerable to withstand the game between the two large economies of raw materials. As already mentioned, in the first place, Russia’s own economy, which is already in stagnation, will suffer adverse consequences. A similar failure also awaits those who are dependent on a resource economy, in the first place, these are countries with economies in transition. Countries such as Algeria, Nigeria that have not diversified their economies will suffer the most. Social tension will noticeably put pressure on the internal stability and stability of these countries.

In addition, Russian projects on the Eurasian continent, including the Eurasian Economic Union, will suffer consequences. Price fluctuations will hit Kazakhstan’s business and economy for at least the next six months, whose main partner is Russia. Therefore, it should be noted that the Russian plan for greater power in the world oil market is doomed to utter failure.

Elvira Aidarkhanova is Assistant Professor-Researcher at Almaty Management University, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Idlib: An Uphill Battle for Turkey

The killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in air raids in Syria’s Idlib province is likely to prove a major blow for President Tayyip Erdogan, who has made up his mind to lock horns with Russia in Syria. Turkey has been pushed towards a frontline war with Northern Syria by its Western allies without knowing the consequences of this unending battle.

Four Turkish political parties in the Turkish parliament issued a joint statement to condemn this attack by signing a statement of political means solution based on international law to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the region.

Turkish President Erdogan asked Putin “to get out of the way” and let the Turkish troops deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The United States and Russia used their full strength in Syria, and finally, the US stepped back, failing to down the Assad government in Syria. Turkey is demanding the same thing to replace the United States’ role in Syria while challenging Russian interests in Idlib.

Turkish wrath is serious; it has been widely shared on social media. Who did Turkey hold responsible for the killing of 33 Turkish troops? Is it Syria or Russia? Will Turkey confront Russia in Syria directly? These questions are now in everyone’s mind. Who will be the target of the Turkish wrath? These questions are still unanswered.

Before the Syrian crisis, Turkey enjoyed excellent relations with all Arab countries and had strategic cooperation councils with the majority of them. Because of ex-Turkish policies that relayed on zero problems with the neighbors, now everything is different and Turkey is facing challenges not only with its neighbors but with everyone.

The problems of Turkish president mounted after the Arab spring because his Ottoman dreams had awakened, he thinks that he can rebuild the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the majority of Arabic countries for about 400 years. Syria was the greatest failure for Erdogan, this substantial failure was heard inside Turkey, when a military coup took place against him on July 15, 2016. At that time, Putin helped him to survive, although of course, such help wasn’t for nothing. Putin thought to himself that a weak Erdogan is better than another strong army ruler, and Erdogan may help him in Syria. Still, after four years, Erdogan changed his mind, which caused Putin to become rather upset and angry with him.

Turkey has been rolling between its Western allies and Russia for the past several years. Turkey is not a stable partner and is a bit confused about choosing its strategic interests in various regions. Physically located between East and West, Turkish foreign policy is also hanging between the East and West.

If we take a look at the recent developments and track record of Turkey, it is very interesting. Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 jet in 2015, after which we witnessed very tense relations between Turkey and Russia. Soon after this, Russian tourists stopped visiting Turkey, which resulted in a substantial financial loss to Turkey. Russians tourists are top of the list of any other nationality visiting Turkey with 6.9 million visitors and a 16 per cent share in total foreign tourists. Therefore, Turkey should keep in mind that any major confrontation with Russia severely affects the Turkey tourism sector and is damaging for the already ramshackle Turkish economy. There have been several phases of bitter ties between Russia and Turkey. Still, on the purchasing of S-400 missiles, Turkey went to a very tense level of ties with the United States (US), but again Turkey is favourite for its Western allies, so the west takes it as like contumacy.

Despite the major conflicts with the US and now with Russia, Turkey wants both Russian S-400 missiles and US, F-35. Again it’s a strange demand that Erdogan wants to be fulfilled, but a brilliant choice if Turkey wants to hit back the US. In that case, they must have an F-35, and if they confront Russian in Idlib, then they have S-400 missiles.

Turkey and Erdogan have a diversity of foes and friends. Turkey believes in making friends with those who are the foes of their opponents, but that does not work in call cases. Sometimes Turkey’s enemies are Turkey’s friends, and Turkey’s friends are Turkey’s enemies. Like in the current scenario, Turkey is considering having joint operations with Israel; nevertheless, Israel is on the top of the list of Turkish foes. Erdogan used Israel’s rhetoric for applauding inside and outside Turkey.

Turkey has been actively involved in numerous fronts, lobbying inside Muslim blocs to take over the Muslim world leadership role.

Many countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and even Turkey’s NATO allies are waiting for this moment to see Turkey in troubled waters in Syria. Both fear to see Erdogan trying to realize his dream of the rein of the Ottoman Empire. However, it would be tough to revive the Ottoman era: the West is concerned about Erdogan’s various speeches with hints about that.

At this stage, the situation in Northern Syria is interesting, and any aggressive move might lead to a serious battle.

Following the air raids at Turkish troops, prospects of a direct military confrontation between Turkey and Russia are very high. Amidst the prevailing scenario, tensions between the two sides are alarmingly high, although both sides are looking for their respective stakes. As per available indicators, the two countries are ready for de-escalation to some extent, but the risk of an incidental escalation is more substantial than expected.