Eurasia Group predicts Russian-Turkish tension will not escalate

Published 26.11.2015 00:47

The Eurasia Group, a leading risk consultancy firm, predicted that escalation of tensions between Turkey and Russia is unlikely in response to Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter jet on Nov. 24, though this clash between the two headstrong leaders entails significant risk."The Russian reaction will be strong, but Moscow will seek to avoid military escalation with Turkey. Russia is likely to hit Turkey in the economic sphere, possibly canceling flights or interrupting the robust flow of Russian tourists to Turkey. Russia could also step up the bombing of Turkmen communities. Putin will try to hurt the Turks without angering the EU," the recent report of Eurasia group said.

Regarding Turkey's reaction, the report predicts that Ankara will pitch its status as the aggrieved party, looking for rhetorical support from NATO for its Syria policy and for its defense of Turkmens. "Turkey remains committed to removing [Syrian President Bashar Assad], establishing safe zones and reducing external support for the PYD [Democratic Union Party]," according to the report. "So our bet is that the episode will not escalate. But we do see ego-driven escalation as an improbable but real risk. Both [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin very much like to get their way. National interest will probably prevail over emotion, but given the players, that is not a sure bet."

In terms of the Syrian crisis, the report predicts the incident will not change the parties' fundamental interests at the macro level, and therefore will not shift the trajectory of the Syrian crisis in a significant way.

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