Turkey, Biden Administration, Ukraine discussed on Balance of Power


President succeeding Robert caplan who resigned last year following disclosures about his personal trading activity in 2020 the appointment is effective August 22nd the Dallas fed's next turn to vote on monetary policy is in 2023 Among the names reporting after the closing bell today The Walt Disney Company Disney shares down now by 1.2% I'm Charlie pellet that David Weston is a Bloomberg business flash Thank you so much Charlie Powell I want to turn back to Ukraine right now and quite specifically a country nearby and that is turkey The U.S. has had a complicated relationship with turkey over the years including over the S 400 anti aircraft weapons that were bought from the Soviet Union from Russia But at the present time turkey has a potentially pivotal role to play in perhaps bringing a resolution to the conflict in Ukraine For his viewpoint on this we turn to a true expert on turkey Steven cook senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the council on foreign relations and a columnist for foreign policy So Stephen thank you so much for being with us The thing that caught my eye at least on this was a report on The Wall Street Journal that the Biden administration is asking for the sale of advanced weapons including F-16s to turkey which a short while ago I would have thought it would be almost impossible giving the problem over the S 400s Yeah that's right It would have 6 months ago been unthinkable that the Biden administration would put its weight behind the Turkish request for new F-16s and upgrades of other F-16s But because turkey has played an important role for NATO and in support of Ukraine in the conflict so far by supplying the Ukrainians with quite lethal drones and at the same time holding itself out as a potential mediator in the conflict this has helped paper over many of the differences between the United States and turkey such that there is a real possibility that this sale of the 16th could go through It's terribly dangerous to get too simplistic and I could be guilty of incurring that to ask whose side is turkey on But it appears that turkey doesn't necessarily want to be on either side in terms of with Russia or with the United States It wants to play something of an intermediate role intermediary role That's right You could say that turkey has leaned in a direction of Ukraine especially since it has supplied this drone technology that has been so effective against Russian armor But at the same time turkey has not sanctioned Russia You can still fly between Istanbul and Moscow And turkey has over the course of the last decade developed strong economic ties and the two leaders the Turkish president Recep Tayyip and Vladimir Putin also have strong ties Makes turkey a potential mediator in the conflict Now that may not bring the war to an end We seem to have gone beyond the point of an actual negotiated solution to the conflict But in terms of providing humanitarian aid and helping set up humanitarian corridors turkey may be an honest broker between Kyiv and Moscow I'm trying to put ourselves in the shoes of president Erdoğan What are the strategic interests of turkey when it comes to this war in Ukraine Well I think that the Turks want to establish themselves as a regional power on par with other America's other of the United States is traditional allies in Europe President Erdoğan has long said that turkey needs an independent foreign policy needs to be looked at upon the United States and its NATO allies as an independent and powerful actor in all of the regions in which it touches whether it's the eastern Mediterranean the Middle East Europe the Caucasus or in fact close to Eurasia where this war is ongoing So that is clearly how president Erdoğan has positioned turkey And thus far he seems to be succeeding As I recall early on in the war turkey closed the bus straight to the Russian warships Does that remain in place and how important is that to Russia Just a slight clarification on that David Turkey closed the Bosporus strait to warships Right So it's Russian warships It's American warships It's French warships It's important important point It wasn't just Russian warships I got you And Russian warships can traverse the straight so long as they are home ported in the Black Sea Thus far the Russians haven't made the move to try to resupply their fleet So it hasn't been an issue But still it was an important step and for turkey to take because the Russians would likely want to use the strait to resupply Its naval forces So not to take too much away from the Turks on this issue but it was a broader blanket prevention of warships in the strait Really important clarification Thank you for that Talk about NATO and Turkish relations with NATO I mean obviously it's a member of NATO at the same time That has been sometimes a somewhat strained relationship Does that bring as it were turkey back into the NATO fold resoundingly Well I don't know about resoundingly but certainly over the course of the last decade turkey has been a NATO ally but not entirely a partner in NATO And the purchase of the Russian manufacturer to S 400 anti aircraft system was something that really had an impact on turkey's relations with its NATO partners Now that it is playing this role in the Ukraine crisis And in particular as I said the supply of drones to the Ukrainian armed forces it seems to have provided some momentum for turkey to repair those relations inside NATO And for turkey to reinforce the argument that it is a strong install where member of NATO And that it is prepared to act along with its NATO allies But still there are problems between turkey and Greece a wall all of this is going on Turkey has violated Greek airspace in the GNC more than dozens of times There's been an increase in that kind of activity over the course of the last couple of months So while turkey has proven its metal as a NATO ally in.

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