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Rg.ru: Erdogan: Serbia is a key country for peace and stability in the Balkans
According to the Turkish leader Ankara and Belgrade are showing “strong will” to develop ties between the two countries. “Serbia is a friendly country for us and a key country for peace and stability in the Balkans,” he added.
The politician said co-operation between Turkey and Serbia has reached an “ideal” level. “Our trade turnover amounts to $ 1.2 billion. An updated free trade agreement has recently entered into force,” the Turkish leader said. “Together with President Vucic, we agreed that our short-term goal is $ 2 billion and our long-term goal is $ 5 billion,”
It should be noted that Belgrade and Ankara have signed 9 different agreements, including on defense co-operation. “Today, for the first time following experts’ talks, I have discussed in depth defense cooperation with President Erdogan and I expect a great deal of progress after the signing of the cooperation agreement in this area today. ” Our experts have expressed an interest in purchasing certain types of weapons and equipment in Turkey, and we also express our desire to participate in the technology transfer process and to establish a joint venture in the defense industry,” said Aleksandar Vucic.
Meanwhile, director of the Progressive Policy Foundation Oleg Bondarenko in an interview with RIA expressed his position that there is no threat to Russia in such an activity of Ankara in the Balkans, on the contrary – Moscow is considering the emerging opportunities as another factor for balancing the West’s attempts to create a unipolar world.
“Turkey’s return to the Balkans is a natural process. Three countries have always been historically present here: Russia, Turkey and Germany. Turkey is a strategic partner of Russia, an era of negative relations between Turks and Serbs is already in the past. Now Turkey is trying to create an alternative Europe for themselves, because in that Europe ‘in the first gear’ they don’t belong, so they will create their own / zone of influence / and they have enough resources, believe me.
They are actively investing. For example, many small Turkish shops appeared in Montenegro this year. Therefore, Serbia can become Ankara’s reliable partner on the issue of alternative existence, “Bondarenko said.
Erdogan’s visit beyond a doubt is blessed by Putin. The strategic partnership between Russia and Turkey in the Balkans, including the Western Balkans in particular, is gaining ground.
What is new about Erdogan’s visit is the defense co-operation, which Moscow has promoted as an alternative to NATO and EU security systems.
Particularly revealing is the last sentence of Russian expert Bondarenko, ‘Russia and Turkey seeking to coordinate their counteraction’ with the EU and NATO, precisely by creating prerequisites for an alternative existence, including Serbia, to encourage it in the event that negotiations and EU membership fail. He further goes on – ‘Moscow is considering the emerging opportunities as another factor for balancing the West’s attempts to create a unipolar world’.
To Russia and Turkey, we must also add China, which uses the same networks to coordinate influence and investment.