Closer ties between Turkey, Russia not seen affecting Ankara’s role in NATO

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expects talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to open 'a new page' in bilateral relations. (File photo: Reuters)

Germany does not believe that a thaw in relations between Turkey and Russia will affect Turkey’s role in the NATO alliance, a spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The spokeswoman said it was important for both countries to communicate given the threat situation in the region, and their respective roles in ending the civil war in Syria.

“We do not believe that the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia will have consequences for the security partnership within NATO,” said spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli. “Turkey is and remains an important partner within NATO.”

Chebli also said the ministry had no knowledge that Turkey was using torture against those accused of adding a thwarted coup attempt.

Both she and a spokeswoman for the German government repeated that reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey would end its bid to join the European Union.

EU deal: On or off?

Meanwhile, Turkey’s migration agreement with the European Union may collapse if the EU does not keep its side of the deal on visa waivers, Turkish Erdogan told France’s Le Monde newspaper.

Erdogan’s comments reflect a shift in stance at a time when he is rebuking Western leaders for their response to the July 15 coup bid. Erdogan vowed to keep Turkey’s promises on the migrant deal as recently as July 26.

“The European Union is not behaving in a sincere manner with Turkey,” Erdogan said in comments published by Le Monde on Monday, noting that the visa waiver for Turkish citizens was supposed to kick in on June 1.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 12:05 - GMT 09:05