Germany: Turkish-Russian thaw welcome, no worries on NATO

AP News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2016 2:54 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Senior German officials say a thaw in relations between Turkey and Russia is a welcome development, and they don't see a danger of Turkey turning away from NATO.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Russia on Tuesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin. The German government's coordinator for relations with Russia, Gernot Erler, told Deutschlandfunk radio there is "a European interest in this ice age between Turkey and Russia being ended, because it also hinders progress in resolving conflicts" in Syria and the Caucasus.

The Turkish-Russian rapprochement comes as relations between Ankara and the West are strained. But German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the Bild daily he doesn't expect Turkish-Russian relations to become "so close that Russia can offer an alternative to the security partnership of NATO."