The author, who mentioned that he took part in an event on the Syrian issue held in one of Ankara’s centers for political studies, did either pay little attention or simply did not want to hear the report of speakers from Russia. As a result, an absolutely different and far from reality interpretation of Russia’s stance on the Syrian issue was voiced in his article. Therefore, we consider it necessary to stress the principle elements of our position once again.
Russia has never come and does not come forward as a “protector” of some regimes. For us, the fundamental principle is protecting the system of international law, which unfortunately was subject to tough breaking during the past decade.
The main message of the report by the representative from Russia is the following: The problems similar to the one in Syria are not to be solved using force. This has been vividly indicated by military operations in Iraq and Libya, the latter of which has already come to the edge of a breakup.
To our mind, there is no conflict that can be solved without achieving compromise between all of its sides. The author, for some reason, forgets about the thousands of soldiers and police troops who have died protecting the constitutional system of their country, as well as the many victims of terrorist acts committed by armed members of the opposition. Both Turkey and Russia unfortunately have to fight extremism and terrorism in practice even today.
Let us stress again: The Syrian crisis can be solved only when all sides of the conflict without exception put an end to the violence, abandon their pride, give up unrealistic and maximalist demands and sit at the negotiation table. UN/Arab League special envoy on Syria Mr. Annan’s plan, supported by the international community, urges them precisely to do that. There is no way we can achieve a secure result by knocking together one-sided coalitions of self-proclaimed “friends” and providing financial aid to forces that struggle with legitimate authorities, thereby multiplying the misfortunes of the Syrians, the future and prosperity of which its protectors care for so much.
As for the author’s outright unfriendly, in our view, discourses on the present and the future of Russia, they aroused only feelings of astonishment and deep regret. They are especially in striking contrast to the quite positive dynamics of partner cooperation between our two countries and the relevant statements of the leaders of Russia and Turkey towards the bright prospect of its further development. It seems especially strange to hear such unkind words in a period when our nations display a growing level of trust and understanding towards each other, which was vividly reflected in the mutual facilitation of a visa regime last year.
Nevertheless, we are sure that most Turkish citizens do not share the approaches and estimations written about in the article, which for some reason lead us to the wilds of the Cold War-era block confrontation.
*Vladimir Ivanovskiy is the ambassador of Russia to Turkey.