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Security and Geopolitics Trade, Economics, and Business Ukraine Reconstruction

Turkey’s trade with Russia nearly doubled last year to $68.2 billion, feeding U.S. suspicions that Moscow is using Ankara to bypass Western sanctions. Turkey says the increase is largely due to higher energy costs. Their relationship is often characterized as transactional. Despite being on opposing sides in fighting in Syria, Libya and the decades-long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, they have cooperated in areas like energy, defense, diplomacy, tourism and trade. Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund in Ankara, said the relationship’s dual nature dates back to the sultans and czars. “Sometimes they compete, sometimes they cooperate. At other times they both compete and cooperate at the same time,” he said. While the pendulum seems to have swung in Ankara’s favor for now, Unluhisarcikli noted the Kremlin has a few levers to pull, such as canceling a deferment of gas payments or removing financial capital for the Akkuyu nuclear plant being built by Russia. Moscow also could hurt Turkey by restricting Russian tourists, who visit in greater numbers than any other nationality. offering a steady flow of cash. “How much weaker the relationship gets depends on how Russia responds to Turkey getting closer to the West,” he said.”

Defense Cooperation NATO Security and Geopolitics Ukraine Reconstruction

“The summit outcome reflects the basic reality that NATO is a U.S. security commitment to, as the strongest military power in the world, defend other eligible countries. Hence NATO will always only move at the speed of Washington, which right now is fixated on China in the long-run,” Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told CNBC via email.”

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