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Dmitri Trenin

Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center

"There is no alliance between Russia and Turkey," Trenin told EUobserver.

And Putin's ambition for ties with Erdoğan was limited to regional "Realpolitik", Trenin indicated.

"There is no alliance between Russia and Turkey," Trenin told EUobserver.

And Putin's ambition for ties with Erdoğan was limited to regional "Realpolitik", Trenin indicated.

"Putin is keen on preserving a peaceful relationship with Turkey, a rising regional power, cooperating where interests are sufficiently close, and managing differences, preventing them from degenerating into conflicts," Trenin, who is a former Russian military-intelligence colonel, said.

Looking at the recent Russia-Turkey deal in the South Caucasus, he said: "Cooperation on Nagorno-Karabakh [a region at the heart of the conflict] creates a better climate for interaction across the board. Lack of cooperation there would have soured relations across the board".

"But each situation is dealt with on its own merits," Trenin added.

Russian and Turkish "interests may diverge and even clash" in other conflicts, such as those in Libya and Syria, he also said.

Trenin gave a different assessment of who might be better at handling complicated friends, such as Erdoğan, than the ex-Nato Shea.

"Russians can deal with anyone on the basis of Realpolitik," Trenin said.

But "Nato is not well designed to deal with a country that seriously pursues what is known in the post-Soviet world as a multi-vector foreign and security policy," he added.

Source: EUobserver.

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