Thursday, May 13, 2010

Russo-Turk Nuclear Deal

Turkey and Russia have signed an agreement worth $20 billion for Russia to build a nuclear plant in Turkey.  Russia will maintain a controlling interest in the operating company.  This is a big deal. It represents a major realignment in the region and will likely produce an even less cooperative Turkey for the EU and US as long as the current government remains in power.  Which is likely to be for a long time.

The failure of Europe to accept the strategic importance of Turkey, largely due to the religious and rascist attitudes of the continent, have not gone unnoticed in Moscow.  Russia has a strong economic and political interest to increase their influence with Ankara.  A cooperative Turkey will reduce the threat to undermining recent Russian gains in the Caucuses, further isolating Georgia, and in Central Asia.  The diplomatic and economic investment offensive to secure good relations with a key potential political and economic competitor is something that US foreign policy is incapable of doing because of its distraction in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Europe has shown, through its handling under Germany's leadership, of the Greek financial crises, that it is incapable of operating in a unified manner with anything approaching timeliness.  Continuous snubbing of Ankara by the EU is changing the geo-political landscape of the greater Middle East region. The deal with Russia, tied together with significant investments in trade with Turkey, might be looked back on as a game changer.

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