Pavel Baev: Putin looks for a military response to a "stab in the back"


Growing internal problems forced the Russian President raise the stakes and go to conflict with Ankara

This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the climate Forum in Paris, but his will was not at all concerned about environmental problems Wednesday. But the only proposal that Russia would agree to consider is replacing coal gas as the primary fuel for electricity production. At a Summit in Paris, Putin will make several promises to cut emissions; but they certainly will be as "reliable" as his previous commitments to increase gas production to 578 billion cubic meters in 2014 to 885 in 2035.

What really interested the Russian President (as was the case during the G20 Summit in Antalya) this in meetings on the sidelines of the Summit; such example is the 30-minute conversation with Obama. And attitude at these meetings is very important for Putin. The destruction of Russian Turkish fighter bomber is seen as a direct attack on the authority of the President. Of course, Putin in fury of it insults, it seems, is still in search of a suitable response.

In the Kremlin Saturday imposed a number of economic sanctions against Turkey, but their immediate consequences will be much more painful for a depleted economy of Russia itself, which is suffering from inflation, the rate of which is at 20% per year. And cancellation of the bilateral visa-free regime looks weak diplomatic gesture, and in practice would be another blow to the Russian tourism business, which is experiencing a stagnation.

Putin angrily said "hit in the back after Turkey was hit by a Russian Su-24. And although Turkey in response warned Moscow that "playing with fire", the country's leadership demonstrates willingness to de-escalate. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to get maximum political dividends inside the country, demonstrating the resolve, while trying to show themselves adequately to the allies from NATO leader, saying that he was ready to meet with Putin in Paris. Quarrel with Russia perfectly serves the ambitions of Turkey in the Syrian conflict because it allows it to reassert its role as a key player in combating the IGIL and Bashar Al-Assad.

Cancellation of visa-free regime with Turkey-weak diplomatic gesture

And here the role of RUSSIA is now in question and Putin, apparently looking for a military response to the abandoned challenged him. Until he settled for moving missile cruiser Moscow close to Lattakia, increased additional base a dozen Su-27 and Su-30, which will be accompanied by Russian bombers during missions, and sending a missile system С-400 at Hmejmim airbase. Probably the Kremlin understands that direct aggression against Turkey means confrontation with NATO, which, despite its reluctance to go to war with Russia and Turkey in the event of a hot conflict will not abandon. Putin is such a risk to go cannot, but it effectively delegated further decisions regarding the escalation of fighter pilots, which may again be faced with a Turkish F-16 near the border, and the operators of the Russian s-400, which has never been in combat.

The likelihood of a new explosive incident is extremely high in the air, but because of the Russian invasion increases and other risks. Rising tension might force Ankara to close the Bosporus and the Dardanelles for Russian ships and thereby cut a key supply line in Latakiû. And while Russian airstrikes for the Turkmen villages in Syria annoy Turkey, Moscow's indifference to casualties among the civilians arouses the fury of many Syrian rebel groups, which makes Russian convoys and base target for possible terrorist attacks.

At the same time, the arrival of new aircraft on crowded and poorly equipped base will negatively affect routine inspection, making technical glitches are practically unavoidable-especially in light of the incredible number of Russian aircraft drops-both military and civilian. Any incident could provoke a totally disproportionate response from perevozbuždennogo and obsessed with the Kremlin.

Demonstrating determination and switching the focus of propaganda on Turkey, the Kremlin diverts public attention from internal problems, recently intensified due to the sudden protest truckers. The protest, which began as a statement against the new road tax went into massive outrage corruption; the Government does not represent, how to cope with the problem. Authorities tried to declare that any manifestation of discontent is working on an external ' enemy ', thus justifying the need for repressive measures within the country. But Putin seems not to care about the catastrophe, which for thousands of small businesses will be sanctions against Turkey. And its top does not care about the economic aspects, because military power has become a major policy instrument of the Kremlin.

The negative effects of this course, you can mask the loud rhetoric and mobilization, but a very limited period of time. Whereas for key partners, such as China, and the main rivals-United States, the EU, and now Turkey, the economic crisis in Russia is obvious. They can surprise the reluctance of Putin to deal with economic issues and his willingness to hurt its own economy to show political commitment not wishing to apologize for Erdogan.

But other world players still hope that Moscow at least on security risks, think seriously. However, Putin has no choice but to raise a new catastrophe, preparations for which are already underway, and to confront him, will require considerable efforts and leadership of the United States.


Pavel Baev,

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