After Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber back in November, Russia broke ties with the country and imposed sanctions. Russia demanded an apology for the shooting, even as Turkey provided evidence that the bomber had been warned repeatedly about encroaching into their airspace. Tuesday, the two countries made nice. Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg following what the Russians say was an apology issued by Erdogan in June.
Putin plans to lift the sanctions bit by bit while resuming trade talks involving a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline. While the West has cringed from the actions of Erdogan during the aftermath of the Turkish military coup, Russia has stayed silent on the issues of crushing dissenters and demanding extradition of clerics. After all, WWRD (What Would Russia Do) if a coup had erupted in Moscow?
The United States, the EU, and NATO will be watching any further developments between the two countries closely. The U.S. stages troops and aircraft out of Turkey that are currently being used to fight the war on Daesh. While Russia and Turkey are returning to warm relations, the Syrian crisis and who is fighting who only continues to get more complicated.
Read more about the Russian-Turkish bromance here.