Erdogan beat Putin on his own territory. What are the actual results of the meeting between the two presidents?
Details: Naturally, the Russian media and near-Kremlin telegram channels presented the visit of the Turkish president to Sochi and the results of the meeting as an incredible victory for Putin. They began to spread the good news that the Turks would pay for gas from the Russian Federation in rubles. And that Eastern European countries will use Turkish intermediaries to circumvent sanctions.
In fact, the situation is more complicated. Erdogan is playing a double game and raising the stakes with the West. And Putin uses only as a tool. He refused to make Turkey a hub for circumventing sanctions and an intermediary for gas. He promised to think about it, but for now he got himself a discount on gas in exchange for a promise to pay for it partially in rubles. Similarly, Putin has to make concessions to the Turks in the Middle East.
Putin understands his role as a junior partner, but there are not many leaders of strong states left who, in principle, will agree to a meeting with the Kremlin dictator. And to declare himself the winner in any situation, Putin has all the power of Goebbels-TV.
The situation is similar to the filing of an application by Sweden and Finland to NATO and the episode with the blocking of this application by Ankara. When they got what they wanted, they immediately retreated. So it is now – Erdogan is seeking from the West the purchase of combat fighters and the extradition of the oppositionists who fled the country. And when he gets it, he will set before Putin even more unfavorable terms of cooperation for the latter.