Does the Russian-Turkish Union State have a future?

"Russia and Turkey - From Cooperation to the Union.  Why not? " - new article written by a well-known entrepreneur, politician (formerly a member of the Federation Council from Krasnodar and a PACE member), public figure Farhad Akhmedov - was published this week in several leading Russian media, and it claims to be a sensation which highlights various essential issues.

Some of those questions are indicated  correctly, although they may seem rather surprising to non-specialists.  For example, the comparison that was made between Russia and Turkey.  Indeed, the experience of both countries in the 20th century as well as their previous "imperial" history and current situation, are very similar subjects. Besides, the rich history of bilateral Russian-Turkish relations does not include only wars and conflicts, but also successful cooperation, including during the time of Bolsheviks. Since the 90s, Turkey has perceived Russia in a  positive way.

It would be rather difficult to deny the crisis of the unipolar world.  It's obvious.  What is happening in the US presidential elections is a convincing proof of this statement.  In addition, the second Karabakh war became possible precisely because of the collapse of the «single force» concept.

The article also states another obvious fact: correlation between the collapse of the unipolarity and the coronavirus pandemic (as well as the beginning of the Karabakh). It is also worth mentioning the example of the historical reconciliation between Israel and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf.

What is also important is that Farhad Akhmedov himself is not an outsider in the world of diplomacy and foreign policy, especially when it comes to the Russian-Turkish direction. In 2015-2016, for example, he made a big contribution in restoring relations between Ankara and Moscow after the incident with the downed Russian plane. He personally contacted the Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusoglu has mentioned this fact recently and it reveals the significance of the entire concept proposed by the author of the article.

Other theses mentioned in the article, in my opinion, are not so obvious. The very idea of not just a close political, economic and military alliance between Russia and Turkey, but their unification in a Union State appears to be way too daring.

Author himself lists the possible complexities on the way of realising this idea which are: the resistance of the nearest and distant centers of power and Turkey's membership in NATO. However, there may be many more difficulties.

For example, Azerbaijan's role in this situation It is not entirely clear. It is not mentioned in the article at all. In this case, should Baku become a part of this Union State, or should it remain on the sidelines? After all, today's Azerbaijan is deeply dependent on relations with both Moscow and Ankara.

Besides, the question of harmonizing the legislation of the two countries inevitably pops up: both legislative systems are drastically different . It is also worth recalling the fate of the Russia-Belarus Union State (with all the given proximity of the two countries) -- at the stage of the implementation of this project, problems and disagreements have become very apparent, which has been making it difficult to realize the concept for two and a half decades.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is experienced enough to follow the West's lead and politically confront Russia. He understands that he has no chance of winning against Moscow, and that the West can only use him as a battering ram to fight Russia. No one needs this scenario except London and Washington, and Erdogan is well aware of these kinds of intentions. Being allies with them is worse than fighting them, so isn't it better to enter into a coalition with a reliable partner - Russia.

Thus, the idea of the Union State of Russia and Turkey might be seen as a very prospective theoretical concept. This is indeed a very bold idea, which, I think, will not go unnoticed in Moscow and Ankara.

Maxim ARTEMIEV,

publicist, Russian history writer