A meeting between foreign and defense ministry officials of Turkey and Ukraine was held today in the Turkish capital of Ankara in the format referred to as Quadriga (2 + 2), the first of which joint consultations was held in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on December 18, 2020. As the Ukrainian press put it, the purpose of the meetings is to “discuss the most pressing issues in the field of politics and regional security, coordinate joint actions and develop new projects in the political, security, economic and defense sectors.”
That is, to serve as the institutional embodiment of Turkish-Ukrainian efforts to consolidate the Black Sea region for NATO and in the process drive Russia out.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a copy of a joint statement issued by the four officials, the key points of which are:
“National coordinators discussed ways to deepen cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey in the field of security and defense to restore stability and security in the Black Sea region, and to further develop cooperation in the defense industry. A separate topic of the consultations was the current situation on the Crimean peninsula temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation and the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions….The participants in the consultations exchanged views on the prospects for resolving conflicts in the regions of the Middle East, North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus.”
NATO bulwark Turkey has been assisting the Ukrainian government in the seven-year war against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass both overtly and surreptitiously. The above statement indicates it will now be doing so unabashedly. The reference to Crimea is even more ominous.
A Ukrainian source shared this information about today’s meetings:
“Turkey’s representatives reaffirmed their continued support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as their non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea. The Turkish side also stressed its support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic course and aspirations towards full membership in NATO.”
Coming on the heels of Turkey supporting if not outright orchestrating the brutal Azerbaijani assault on defenseless Nagorno-Karabakh [Artsakh] last year, today’s meeting evokes a warning issued by Lebanese-Armenian scholar Yeghia Tashjian some two weeks days ago, which is worth quoting verbatim:
“[My] greatest fear is on a regional level. It is no secret that Ukraine is preparing for war or at least triggering an armed conflict in Russian-controlled Donbass with Turkish and Western blessings. It has been two weeks since I began monitoring the Ukrainian and Russian army’s supply routes and deployment of heavy weapons near Donbass. Kyiv, motivated by the Turkish and Azerbaijani victory in Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh], tried to establish military relations with Turkey and bought Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones. Russia, aware that it may engage in a two-front war and knowing well that Armenia cannot defend itself against another Turkish-Azerbaijani invasion, is consolidating its presence in southern Armenia by building military posts and reopening the abandoned airfield of Sisian in Syunik.”
Tashjian’s analysis has proven what it bode to be at the time: accurate and prescient. Disturbingly accurate and frightening prescient.
The two foreign affairs representatives, Turkey’s Director General of the Department of Bilateral Political Relations with the Eurasian Countries Yonet Can Tezel and Ukraine’s Second Territorial Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vasyl Zvarych, also met separately to discuss preparations for the ninth meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council chaired by the presidents of Ukraine and Turkey later this year. During the meeting “the Turkish diplomat confirmed his country’s readiness to take part in the work of the Crimean Platform, which will serve as a platform for consolidating international efforts to de-occupy Crimea.”
The message could hardly be more clear.
Yeghia Tashjian is to be strongly commended for attempting to sound the alarm on what may prove to be an impending major geopolitical catastrophe, as Dr. Zalmay Gulzad is for years ago warning about Turkey’s designs to exploit the Crimean Tatars to intrude itself in Crimea and afterward in the Russian North Caucasus.