Just because Turkey uses its military, the second largest in NATO, and other influence against Russian allies and interests in Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Armenia, Crimea, Cyprus, Donetsk, Libya, Lugansk, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Syria, Tajikistan, etc. in no way diminishes Putin’s admiration for and affection toward his honored, esteemed and cherished partner.

If Erdoğan was in fact a friend of Putin’s, if he was even interested in maintaining stability in his own neighborhood, he would, as guarantor of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, request the British, U.S. and Dutch warships in the Black Sea currently to display the better part of valor and leave until tensions are reduced after yesterday’s incident with the British destroyer HMS Defender and the Russian air force. He would ask the U.S. and Ukraine to postpone if not cancel the Sea Breeze exercise scheduled to begin on the 28th. The Montreux Convention of 1936 guarantees free passage of merchant and other non-military vessels; but how could it have anticipated guided-missile destroyers arriving from 1,700 miles away (as with the British ship) or from half the world away as with American ships? What is the justification for allowing an unbroken succession of NATO warships into the Black Sea the year round? Until that question is addressed, expect to see more provocations and more flare-ups. Now it appears that Erdoğan and his NATO ally Boris Johnson are dead set on igniting a new Crimean War.

Excerpt from RT today:

The Royal Navy’s provocation came just a day after Russia marked 80 years since the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany and its allies in 1941. Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Russia takes its territorial integrity seriously.

“We can only appeal to common sense and demand respect for international law,Ryabkov told reporters. “If that doesn’t help and if our colleagues don’t understand, we may not only bomb on course, but also on target.”

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The leaders exchanged views on the situation concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh region that Azerbaijan liberated last year from decades of Armenian occupation. They made a positive assessment of the efforts of a joint Russian-Turkish center monitoring the resulting cease-fire in the region.

….

Addressing the situation in Syria, both presidents stressed the importance of the joint work of the Russian and Turkish armed forces in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib to prevent escalation, as well as their efforts in the northeast of the country and in the fight against the terrorist groups in these areas, it added.