Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Russian position on the YPG in NE Syria

The Americans who had been supporting Kurdish national interests in Northern Syria had been supporting the Kurds. They have now told them to retreat to the other side of the Euphatis.

What might the Russian position be?
Could the Russians also turn their backs on the Kurds?

This question has been in back of mind ever since the news of Turkey's invasion of Syria, especially as the true position of the Kremlin and the nature of dsicuđ┐ssions between Putin and Erdogan.

I remembered this talk give by Russian phiosopher, Alexander Dugin in Ankara just a few short days before the coup attempt.

Unfortunately it is only in Russian and Turkish.

This went largely unnoticed and uncommented on whereas I thought at the time it was hightly significant.

I have no idea of what Alexander Dugin's status is in Russia and the extent to which he has the Kremlin's ear.  I also don't know who was hosting Dugin Ankara. Consequently, I have no idea whether this speech by Dugin had a semi-official role who whether he is just representing  his own organisisation.

However he is placing the relationship on the groudns of Realpolitik. The Turks, and the Russians. he says, have a mutual interest in a partnershiop based on a rcognition of territorial  integrity.

Right at the end of the speech (at 24' on the video) he says that Russia has been supportive of the Kurds in NE Syria but that the Americans have been supporting a unified Kurdish state in Syria.

This is not in Russia's strategic self-interest, he said.

So, yes, I would take it from Dugin's words that if it suits their own interests the Russians would turn their backs on the Kurds even though nobody is saying it.

Here are some notes from the source of the video, Defend Democracy Press.

On the eve of the coup in Turkey, the Russian geopolitician and philosopher Alexander Dugin was in Ankara, where he gave a press conference. Among other things he said, he insisted that the same forces want the destruction of both Russia and Turkey and are threatening Turkish sovereingty. He said that President Erdogan understood now the situation and he added that the two countries are now inaugurating a new system of relations, not just restoring old ties, but moving towards a strategic alliance.

Mr. Dugin underlined that the territorial integrity of both Russia and Turkey are now threatened by the same enemies, that is by the hegemonic policy of the USA in the Middle East and by radical Islamism, as a tool of this hegemonic policy. This is why the “most important” now is to elaborate a “common strategy” of Russia and Turkey for the salvation of all the Middle East. But, as he said, “we cannot support the territorial integrity of Turkey and Russia, if we don’t support the territorial integrity of Syria”.

President Erdogan understood already the significance of the provocation with the downing of the Russian jet, Alexander Dugin said, drawing the attention on the fact that America is promoting Chaos and it cannot guarantee even the territorial integrity of its own allies. He went on citing the examples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Georgia and Ukraine, before concluding that such scenarios are harbored also for Turkey and suggesting a return to the policy of the alliance with Soviet Russia by Kemal Ataturk. The situation now is as critical as in the time of Kemal, he added.

Mr. Dugin reminded that Americans are ready to create a united Kurdistan which is not in the Russian strategic interest.

Some Russian analysts believe one of the reasons of the failed coup was the perspective of substantial improvement of relations between Turkey and Russia.

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