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Fire and ice

The Russian-Turkish partnership
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Relations between Russia and Turkey are a curious mix of fierce competition and close cooperation: their ‘cooperative rivalry’ is an open challenge to the EU, given the two power’s embrace of authoritarianism, expansionary ambitions and preference for unilateralism over multilateralism.

This Chaillot Paper explores the factors that cement Russian-Turkish ties despite clashing interests and increasingly contentious regional agendas. The two countries are drawn together due to their shared authoritarian models of governance and similar strategic cultures and operational codes. Cooperation between Moscow and Ankara is furthermore rooted in economic interdependence. Albeit suspicious of each other’s intentions, Russia and Turkey view one another as indispensable partners in the geopolitical arena, managing flashpoints in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in the broader Black Sea region. Although coming close to confrontation on several occasions, they have – so far – always managed to step back from the brink and keep conflicts in check.

The volume examines the future prospects of the Russo-Turkish rapprochement, while analysing its repercussions for Europe’s strategic interests, and explores how the EU should address the challenges posed by the Russian-Turkish partnership.