Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said he wants to work with Russia to “calm tensions”. It’s not quite an apology, but it is a sign that Ankara is not interested in escalating the situation further.
Likewise, despite angry soundbites coming from the Kremlin in response to the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by a Turkish F-16 on 24 November, Russian diplomats are working behind the scenes with their Turkish counterparts to cool things down.
The prominent Kremlinologist Mark Galleotti has written that he doesn’t expect any further overt provocation between the two sides. However, he is concerned that the incident might intensify the proxy war in Syria, as both Turkey and Russia start providing greater material and financial support to groups working against the interests of the other.
Turkey’s intervention has come at a sensitive time. Following the Paris terror attacks, both Russia and the West had sensed an opening that could potentially lead to greater cooperation over Syria. However, there is now a question mark over what happens next, with much depending on how Russia reacts.
So, how should Russia react? Can all sides de-escalate the situation and cooperate to resolve the Syrian conflict? Will increasing Russia-Turkey tensions work in the favour of the so-called “Islamic State” militant terror group? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!