Earthquakes in Turkey likely to have spillover effects on solving Russia-Ukraine conflict: experts – GLOBAL TIMES

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« The earthquakes in Turkey are likely to have geopolitical and economic spillover effects including those on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and Europe’s energy security, Chinese observers said. » Global Times reports on February 10, 2023.

The 7.7-magnitude and 7.6-magnitude quakes, with the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras as the epicenter, have affected 13 million people in 10 provinces, according to the Turkish Embassy in Beijing.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan observed the ongoing search and rescue efforts and the disaster relief work on Wednesday, and paid visits to the survivors, saying Turkey has mobilized all its resources for the aftermath of the earthquake. 

Since the earthquake struck, condolences have poured in from around the world to express solidarity with Turkey, with many countries sending rescue teams and assistance to the country. 

Turkey’s geopolitical status has come to the fore since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the earthquake relief work may distract Erdogan from his role as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Thursday. He noted that the disaster will present a test to the Erdogan administration’s  governance capability.

Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have spoken repeatedly since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and Turkey has acted as mediator alongside the United Nations to set up a deal allowing grain exports from Ukrainian ports. 

Also, the aftermath of the earthquake could also affect energy security in Europe, Wang said. 

Since the Ukraine crisis began, discussions have been held on the construction of gas pipelines passing through Turkey reaching Europe. However, such strong earthquakes could force people to rethink the possibility of the instability of seismic zones in Turkey and may affect the directions of future energy channels in the long run, Wang noted. 

Read also: Turkey’s devastating earthquake may disturb global shipping: experts

Read also : China’s energy supply ensured despite soaring prices after Turkey earthquake

Global Times, February 10, 2023.

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