Russian leader Vladimir Putin congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his re-election as President of Turkey.

"Vladimir Putin warmly congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his re-election as head of state, emphasizing his great contribution to the development of Russian-Turkish relations in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner. It was noted that the support expressed by the Turkish people to their leader opens up additional prospects for expanding practical bilateral cooperation in various areas," the Kremlin press service said.

Erdogan, in turn, reaffirmed his commitment to further joint work on the entire topical agenda. The parties agreed to continue personal contacts, the Kremlin noted.

After winning the presidential election, the Turkish leader said that he was still determined to implement the project of a gas hub in his country, the initiative to create which Putin had previously made.

"We will further strengthen Turkey's position as an international hub. As a matter of fact, Mr. Putin repeated in his congratulatory message (statement. — RT) on the creation in Turkey, in (northwestern. — RT) region of Thrace, hub. We are with them (Russians. — RT) Let's do it. And there will be a hub in Thrace," TASS quoted Erdogan as saying during a speech to fellow citizens at the Beshtepe presidential complex in Ankara.

On May 28, the Russian president sent a message to the Turkish leader in which he congratulated him on his re-election and stressed that this was a natural result of Erdogan's selfless work as the leader of Turkey, as well as clear evidence of the Turkish people's support for his efforts to strengthen the country's sovereignty and pursue an independent, independent foreign policy.

Putin also noted that Moscow appreciates the contribution of the Turkish president to strengthening ties between Moscow and Ankara.

"We highly appreciate your personal contribution to strengthening friendly Russian-Turkish relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas. I would like to reaffirm our readiness to continue our constructive dialogue on topical issues on the bilateral, regional and international agenda. We attach great importance to the consistent implementation of the planned joint projects, primarily the construction of the Akkuyu NPP and the creation of a gas hub in Turkey," the Russian leader said.

Recall that in the fall of last year, Putin announced the idea of building another gas pipeline system and creating a gas hub in Turkey, which would serve as a platform not only for supplies to third countries, "but also for determining the price."

"This is a very important issue, the issue of pricing. Today, these prices are sky-high. We could (their. — RT) calmly regulate at a normal market level without any political coloring," the Russian leader said.

In turn, Ankara reacted positively to such a proposal and stated that a significant part of the infrastructure for creating a hub on its territory is ready.

As the official representative of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, said on May 29 in an interview with A Haber, against the backdrop of increasing cooperation between Moscow and Ankara, Western states have been demanding that Turkey impose sanctions against Russia for almost a year and a half.

"Western countries are exerting incredible pressure on us, they come and demand sanctions, ask why we are cooperating with Russia, and so on. But we did not listen to anyone, we held a ceremony to deliver the first fuel to the Akkuyu nuclear power plant," RIA Novosti quoted Kalyn as saying.

Kalin also stressed that restrictions against Moscow would play primarily against Ankara.

"Between fear and hope"

Recall that Erdogan won the presidential election in Turkey, gaining more than 52% of the vote, the CEC reported. The Turkish leader thanked the citizens of the country for the opportunity to "be at the helm of power" for another five years. According to him, the second round of elections "passed without any difficulties and problems."

In addition to Vladimir Putin, the Turkish president was congratulated by the leaders of other countries, in particular Great Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Belarus, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Qatar and the United States.

So, the head of the White House, Joe Biden, posted the corresponding message on his Twitter page.

"I congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his re-election to this post. I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies to address bilateral issues and common global challenges," Biden said.

Later, by phone, the head of the White House repeated his congratulations and discussed global challenges with Erdogan. According to Ankara, they agreed on the comprehensive development of relations between the United States and Turkey.

For his part, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Erdogan on his re-election, inviting him to jointly promote "the stable and healthy development of China-Turkey strategic cooperation." This was reported by China Central Television.

However, the political opponent of the Turkish leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who scored about 47%, called the elections held in Turkey the "most unfair" electoral process in recent years. He also announced his intention to continue the struggle until "true democracy" prevails in Turkey.

In turn, former Turkish presidential candidate Muharrem Ince, after the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the second round of voting, called on the opposition to think about the mistakes it had made.

"I wish that the presidential elections, which were held as befits (Turkey. - RT), in a calm atmosphere, benefited our country and our people. I congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was re-elected to the presidency, according to preliminary data, and wish him good luck in solving the country's accumulated problems. In the coming days, I will conduct a detailed assessment of the election results. In the meantime, I invite the opposition to think about where we went wrong, "TASS quotes Ince's post on Twitter.

  • Presidential elections in Turkey, second round
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  • © Metin Yoksu

According to The Guardian, after Erdogan's re-election, the main task of the West is to prevent him from "unexpectedly falling into the hands of Vladimir Putin." According to a number of diplomats, the scenario of rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow looks very likely, given the "arrogance and real antipathy" of the Turkish president to Western values.

The Guardian recalled that during the election campaign, the Turkish president spoke about the special relationship between Moscow and Ankara, and also spoke about personal ties with Putin. The publication notes that last month, Erdogan, at the expense of financial and technological assistance from Russia, launched the country's first nuclear power plant, and also intends, with the support of the Russian Federation, to turn Turkey into a European center for Russian gas supplies. According to the newspaper, all these circumstances did not allow the West to carry out its plan - to prevent Turkish business from helping Russia circumvent Western restrictions.

"Turkey simply does not want to impose sanctions against Russia. And Washington does not want to impose secondary sanctions against Turkey, because it fears that this will drive Erdogan into Putin's arms, "the newspaper notes.

"Reliable partner of Moscow"

According to Yevgeny Semibratov, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Erdogan's victory in the presidential election "is important for both Russia and Turkey."

"Under Erdogan, Ankara is a reliable partner of Moscow, and on mutually beneficial terms. The coming to power of Kılıçdaroğlu could seriously worsen Russian-Turkish relations: many of the strategic projects that we are implementing with Turkey could suffer greatly. This is, first of all, a project to create a gas hub in Turkey. In addition, this is the development of nuclear energy, strengthening cooperation in the field of weapons, technology, cultural and humanitarian interaction, "Semibratov said in an interview with RT.

According to him, it is no coincidence that Erdogan confirmed his intention to implement the gas hub project with Russia during his first speech after winning the elections.

"Thus, he demonstrated his readiness to increase cooperation with Russia," Semibratov said.

In turn, Dmitry Belik, a member of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, in an interview with RT, said that Erdogan's victory means not only the prospect of developing Russian-Turkish relations, but also "an unpleasant reality for the West."

"Erdogan's understanding of the importance of Turkey's position and the desire to pursue an independent course play a special role: Erdogan cannot be forced to act on orders, as is the case with European politicians," the parliamentarian said.

At the same time, the United States would very much like to see a change in the political regime in Turkey - the coming to power of Kilicdaroglu, Semibratov believes.

"In Turkey, on the eve of the second round of elections, resources opposed to Erdogan disseminated information that Kilicdaroglu should win, thereby preparing the ground for further non-recognition of the elections. But immediately after the announcement of the election results, Erdogan's supporters took to the streets to celebrate the victory of their candidate, depriving the opposition representative of the opportunity to take any steps precisely within the framework of organizing street protests. At the same time, the legitimacy of Erdogan's victory has already been recognized by a number of countries, including Western ones, whose leaders officially congratulated him," the expert said.

At the same time, OSCE observers in a joint statement refused to characterize the presidential elections in Turkey as "fair and free", acknowledging, however, that "the procedures were generally observed."

According to analysts, this approach of the OSCE indicates that the West, led by the United States, will not abandon attempts to "overthrow Erdogan."

"The tools for this are known. They rocked the situation inside Turkey before the elections and will continue to do so after Erdogan's victory, based on a slight break with Kılıçdaroğlu. Moreover, Erdogan has enough opponents inside Turkey, "Sergei Balmasov, an expert at the Institute of the Middle East, explained in a commentary to RT.

  • U.S. President Joe Biden
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  • © Manuel Balce Ceneta

However, despite attempts by the West to interfere in the Turkish electoral process, in particular in the second round, it passed "without much shock" for Erdogan, Balmasov said.

"Indeed, there have been no egregious incidents, except for blatant attempts by Western diplomats to meet with Erdogan's opponents and provide them with support. It's pretty brazen. And Erdogan will not forgive his Western partners, he will remember and take revenge, including through the active build-up of ties with Russia, "the expert concluded.