Christopher Granville, Co-founder and Managing Director at Trusted Sources research group and former UK diplomat in Moscow, spoke to Sputnik about the future of Russian-Turkish relations following the downing of the Su-24 in Syria.
"For a year the territory of Turkey has become a transiting point for fighters going to join the Jihadi movement in Syria, both Islamic State and other jihadi groups and it is absolutely no secret that there is a very ambivalent attitude of Turkey authorities to the fight against ISIL when the effort on the ground has been led by Syrian Kurdish fighters, the Peshmerga, which is perceived as a strategic threat to Turkey’s interest," Granville told Sputnik.
Talking about the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria, Granville said, "It’s not really even a question of tension between the two countries, it is also that in the global media there is very strong attention given to these ambiguities and ambivalences on the part of Turkey in regards to the threat of jihadists coming out of Syria."
Following the incident with the Russian bomber, the tension between both the countries is rising, talking about the future of relations between Russia and Turkey, Granville said, "The economic relations between both countries are deep and valuable, therefore to restrict or reduce relations due to this incident would cause significant damage to both the countries’ economies."
The analyst further said that this is a classic diplomatic act of balancing between political and military interest on the one hand and economic on the other. "I am sure that authorities on both sides in practice will wish to do what is minimum necessary to uphold their political interest while at the same time minimizing the economic fallout because there is quite a lot at stake for both of the countries."
Talking about the solution to ease the escalating tensions Granville said, "The situation will only really be fully repaired once some type of settlement in Syria can be sketched out. A settlement that somehow will manage to reconcile the very widely differing positions of the external powers," Granville said.
He went on to say that once there is a road map to settlement in Syria which will basically involve maintaining Syria as a country and a legal entity, providing all the communities in Syria a safe and territorially defined safety within Syria, then that will relieve those tensions and ambiguities which have led to Turkish interests being sympathetic to jihadists in one way or another.