After Skripal, Putin retakes the initiative with Erdogan and Rouhani

Without assuming the responsibilities in the Skripal case considering the information made public so far, it is clear that the massive expulsion of Russian diplomats by the United States and many European countries has upset Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Now convinced that Donald Trump cannot help improve Russian-US bilateral relations, Putin is betting on the “strategic relations” he has strengthened in recent years with Iran and even built with Turkey. In short, the Russian president knows how to push where it hurts.

Not only is he pursuing good relations with Iran, which remains, perhaps more than ever, the “pet peeve” of America, but he is taking advantage of Western procrastination towards Recep Tayyip Erdogan to build a strategic partnership with Turkey.

Yet a NATO member, the latter has multiplied initiatives very poorly seen in the West including its military incursion into Afrin (Syria) or its repeated violation of the Greek airspace.

Targeting USD 100 billion in bilateral trade in the coming years, Russia and Turkey behave as allies up to the point that Moscow will build Ankara’s first nuclear power plant. Also, a second line for the Turkish Stream pipeline is planned and the delivery of Russian S-400 ground-to-air missiles is advanced for 2019.

Whatever Putin deems necessary to take revenge against the West after the negative diplomatic fallout of the Skripal case.

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