Kategori arşivi: Uncategorized

Russia’s Withdrawal from Kherson

November 14, 2022

Last Friday, following an announcement by the Russian military that it had completed its withdrawal from Kherson, Ukrainian soldiers entered the city prompting nationwide celebration. Coming weeks after he declared the Kherson region a part of Russia forever, this was seen as a major setback for President Putin and further evidence of a mismanaged war.  Kherson was considered a critical bridgehead for a Russian drive further west to the port city of Odesa. Moreover, as the Russian forces withdraw from Kherson, the Antonivsky Bridge connecting the city to the eastern bank was blown severing the main transit route for Russian supplies coming in from Crimea.

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China-West Relations and the Scholz Visit

November 7, 2022

On June 14, 2021, Mr. Biden arrived in Brussels on his first trip to Europe as President. His principal task at the NATO summit was to put behind America’s allies’ troubled relations with the Trump White House and rally NATO’s support in the strategic competition with Moscow and Beijing.

The two paragraphs dealing with China, the first time in a NATO communiqué, started by saying that China’s stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to Alliance security. In this connection, the Communique mentioned China’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal; its opaqueness in implementing its military modernization; its military cooperation with Russia, including through participation in Russian exercises in the Euro-Atlantic area; its “frequent lack of transparency and use of disinformation”. 

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Global Uncertainty Continues

October 31, 2022

This was a revealing month for the world.

In Beijing, President Xi Jinping presented to the Chinese Party Congress the report of the Central Committee in a two-hour-long speech.[i] Having secured a third five-year term as president, he is now regarded as China’s strongest leader since Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

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Europe’s Time of Troubles

October 24, 2022

For centuries Europe remained the world’s main battleground. But the number of casualties of the two world wars, occurring within four decades, dwarfed the losses and devastation of the past conflicts.  And as the Second World War ended, the Iran Curtain descended across Europe.

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A Brief Look at the Past as Escalation Continues in Ukraine

October 17, 2022

On December 25, 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a sovereign state. Soon after, the former republics of the USSR declared independence one after the other. In some cases, the separation of paths proved more complicated than others.

In May 1997, Russia and Ukraine signed three agreements whereby they established two independent national fleets, and divided armaments. Under these agreements, Ukraine agreed to lease the port of Sevastopol to Russia until 2017 in return for economic benefits. Since Sevastopol was Russia’s principal naval base on the Black Sea, the agreements also allowed Russia a troop presence there.

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The Turkey-West Conundrum

October 10, 2022

Almost five years ago I said that the alliance between Türkiye and the US which, despite ups and downs had stood the test of time, was under considerable strain, and the so-called “telephone diplomacy” which did not allow for an in-depth exchange of views raised more questions than it resolved. This was the time when President Trump, despite having sent the most discourteous letter in the history of modern diplomacy to his Turkish counterpart, was still Ankara’s only “friend” in Washington.

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The Russia-West Propaganda War

October 3, 2022

More than four years ago I said:

“The Ukraine conflict dealt a blow to Russia-West relations, more severe than the one dealt by the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. It has led to greater turbulence. Because, while Georgia is located at the eastern end of the Black Sea, Ukraine is a European country, and four NATO nations, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania are Ukraine’s neighbors. Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia border Russia. All three are dependent on Russian natural gas and the last two are home to a substantial number of ethnic Russians. In other words, they have reasons to worry.

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Moscow Declares Partial Mobilization

September 23, 2022

With the opening of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, world attention turned to New York. But what made the headlines during the past two days was the September 21 Kremlin address by President Putin announcing the partial mobilization of the Russian Federation and emphasizing that only military reservists, primarily those who served in the armed forces and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience, will be called up.”  Moreover, Mr. Putin declared, “I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff. [i]

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A Brief Overview of Türkiye’s Foreign Relations

September 19, 2022

The Middle East:

In December 2009, the communique issued at the end of the Damascus meeting of the “Turkish-Syrian High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council” referred to a “strategic partnership”, at the time a fashionable label for Türkiye’s relationships with other nations. It mentioned common threats and challenges confronting the two countries. A year later, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, in remarks to the press with his Syrian counterpart in Latakia, underlined that the exemplary relations between Syria and Türkiye were serving as a model for regional partnerships and that the two countries were aiming at total economic integration with neighbors.

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Time to End the War of Words between Greece and Turkey (*)

September 12, 2022

For decades, since the days of Atatürk and Venizelos, Greek-Turkish relations have been characterized by a roller coaster pattern. Between the years 1997 and 2001, I was the Turkish ambassador in Athens. For a Turkish diplomat serving in Greece has always been a privilege. As I said in an interview before my departure, I not only enjoyed my stay there but I also happened to be the lucky one. Because, after a brief storm, my years there turned out to be a long sunny season.

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