Would Putin make a true friend?

Would Putin make a true friend?

Actually, this question should be rephrased as, “Would the EU make a strategic enemy and Putin a sound friend?” Well, let’s go further and question whether or not they would make you say, “Putin’s Russia is more trustworthy than the EU?”

He consented to opening an evacuation corridor after he did what he was going to do in Aleppo. Not any time before, when hundreds of thousands of starving civilians trapped inside the fire zone were screaming for help under bombardments. He did not even make the cease-fire work after Aleppo was shattered; the promise remains unfulfilled. 

Isn’t this alone enough to see whether or not it makes sense to give up on the EU to count on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s friendship?   

When the cease-fire, which was reached through Turkey’s efforts, was announced, Russia’s U.N. permanent representative said, “The war in Aleppo is over…”

In other words, with the cooperation of Moscow, Teheran and Damascus, massacres, executions by firing squads, bombings and destructions were committed; only after all of this were the survivors allowed to evacuate.  

I’m not saying this to underestimate Turkey’s efforts for a cease-fire. Is it possible to minimize it? Some 80,000 to 100,000 lives could have been saved. 

No, Turkey did whatever it can. But I cannot consent to Putin washing his hands and leaving with showy gestures after finishing his business. 

The U.N. secretary-general said he saw shocking images of burning bodies in Aleppo. Amnesty International stated that execution reports coming from Aleppo point to war crimes. 

Because Putin agreed to a cease-fire in exchange for taking east Aleppo, are we going to act as if massacres there never happened? Are we going to pretend that crimes against humanity were not committed? 

Of course, I support good relations with Russia at the state level; but this does not mean we can trust Putin and count on him. In a world where we do not think our allies such as the EU and the United States are reliable, are we going to see Putin’s Russia as a trustworthy, loyal friend? 

Are we going to say Moscow’s record of supporting terror organizations and embracing them is cleaner than the record of double standards of the EU and the U.S.? 

I wouldn’t say so. You cannot make me say Russia is a more reliable ally than the EU. 

I reserve all my objections against EU injustices and all my justifications for having good relations with Russia; of course, we should not have a hostile stance against Russia, but we should not trade the worst relations with the EU for the best relations with Russia. 

At the very least, the EU is predictable; they would not “not recognize” the war crimes tribunal. At least one can guess what to expect and not to expect from them. For those who disagree, I would advise them to think again. 

They should think one more time about the fact that the person U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will appoint as secretary of state is Putin’s old friend. He is one of the closest U.S. citizens to Putin. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is an American who has personally received a medal of friendship from Putin.

In other words, there will likely be a “give and take” period between Russia and the U.S. under the Trump presidency. 

It would be difficult to play one against the other. We will not have an option to balance the U.S. with Russia. Putin will also not care about us very much. 

Imagine how reckless Putin will become on that day… 

On that day, he will probably not open the door for a cease-fire after he finishes Aleppo’s residents off, just to look as if he cares about Ankara’s sensitivities. 

Even for just this reason, you cannot make me say: “you can trust Putin. With Putin’s support, one can turn your back on the U.S. and the EU.”