Russian President Vladimir Putin came to Turkey this week -- after suddenly canceling a visit that was supposed to take place in October -- and there was a certain element of suspense to the trip. Although Russia is Turkey's top trading partner and the two countries have also been deepening their political ties in recent years, Ankara and Moscow have not seen eye-to-eye on some key regional issues -- the fate of Syria and the Assad regime, in particular -- and the question was whether these tensions would surface during Putin's visit.
In the end, there was little drama. As The Economist writes of the Russian leader's visit, the two countries have decided to let "cool pragmatism" rule their relations:
“The level of economic and political relations is such that neither Turkey can forgo Russia, nor Russia Turkey…the future of Assad is nothing,” argued Mehmet Ali Birand, a veteran commentator.
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