The US put pressure on Turkey to shoot down the Russian Su-24 bomber over Syrian airspace and promised to cover up any Turkish foul play, according to political analyst Mikhail Smolin.
“It could have been a hint or an unspoken agreement for Turkey to carry out some type of provocation. Of course, it could not have been a direct order when someone picks up a phone and says where and when to attack some particular plane,” he told Russian media.
“You simply give an acknowledgement for the Turks to act inadequately and then the Americans cover up for them saying that they are right,” he continued.
However, as Russia has started the deciphering of the flight recorders of the downed bomber, the expert is sure that regardless of the results of the decoding, the Turkish side will keep pursuing its own line.
“I think that Turkish authorities will continue transmitting their thoughts regardless of the results of the decoding. At least within the country. And outside, they could well try to challenge this expertise “
Smolin explained that unfortunately the procedures for deciphering the flight recorders, are not legally binding and Russia does not have an opportunity to force Turkey into compensation for damages.
So, there is a chance that Turkey will ignore the results and will keep claiming that the Russian aircraft invaded its airspace.
The expert says that Erdogan is doing his utmost to stay in power.
His view is echoed by another political analyst, Araik Stepanyan, who is convinced that neither the US nor Turkey are interested in normalizing the relationship between Turkey and Russia. Moreover, he says, the Turks are pursuing their own purposes.
“First they destroy the Russian bomber, then comes the incident with the guided missile destroyer Smetlivy (which was forced to fire warning shots to avoid collision with an approaching Turkish fishing boat). One more provocation. It could have been an accident, if it happened once, but twice – it is already a pattern,” Stepanyan, who is also executive secretary of the Presidium of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told Radio Sputnik.
“The Turks are pursuing their own goals, I mean Erdogan’s goals,” he explained.
“Erdogan understands that he is ‘hooked’, that there is a compromising material on him and in order to save himself, he needs to push Russia and Europe against each other. And in this situation take up the position of a third party; and he is doing this, acting like a true provocateur, to increase his own rating.”
The expert is convinced that the Turkish authorities will continue escalating tensions with Russia.
“The tension between Russia and Turkey won’t ease,” he warned. “Probably the first really serious step could be Erdogan’s willing resignation as he is the one to be blamed for the current tension. But it is not going to happen.”
Erdogan will bet on the escalation, he added, as he wants not only to be the president but the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. And he will continue with his provocations to increase his standing in the Sunni Islamic world.
Stepanyan also noted that the US could have pressured Turkey for a rapprochement with Russia, however it goes against their interests in the region.
“His [Erdogan’s] masters from the US could have sorted out the situation. But this is not of any benefit to the US. They hold in suspense all of Europe, Russia and the Middle East with the help of Turkey. The Americans were the masterminds of this Middle East project, this chaos, to keep the region under control.”
The expert explained that by preventing any rapprochement between Europe and Russia, the US is able to keep Europe dependent upon the US and prevent Russia’s reinforcement of the Middle East.