Why is Russia Helping Turkey Build a Nuclear Plant? | NTK Network Why is Russia Helping Turkey Build a Nuclear Plant?

Why is Russia Helping Turkey Build a Nuclear Plant?

Is the United States comfortable with its NATO ally getting nuclear assistance from its chief geopolitical rival?

By NTK Staff | 04.03.2018 @10:40am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin joined each other to open Turkey’s first nuclear power plant on Tuesday, appearing together at the construction site.

“This is a more than half-a-century dream coming true,” an announcer proclaimed as the first cement poured into the ground. “With the collaboration between the two countries, this project will now become reality.”

Fireworks and large flags from each country accompanied the announcement.

The two presidents stood together to make the announcement.

Erdoğan’s Turkey has flirted with authoritarianism in recent years, drawing closer to the Kremlin and other global strongmen. Following an attempted military coup in 2016, Erdoğan’s grip on power only strengthened.

According to The Washington Post, the nuclear reactor construction is only the latest act of cooperation between the two countries:

Turkey and Russia have put aside their traditional rivalries and differences on regional issues to forge closer ties. Putin and Erdogan have met several times in the past year and regularly speak on the phone.

On Wednesday, they will join Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Syria. The three countries are sponsoring a series of peace efforts to end the conflict.

Russia, heavily involved in the Syrian Civil War, continues to spread its tentacles into the Middle East with closer relations with Turkey. Already supporting the Assad regime and dealing arms to Iran, Moscow looks to grow its influence in the region.

For the United States, it may be worrying to see a NATO ally draw such a close friendship with a regime that often acts like a rogue nation.

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