Medvedev to represent Russia during Erdoğan’s inauguration ceremony

President of Russia Vladimir Putin has instructed Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev to visit Turkey to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 9 July, the Russian government said in a statement on Saturday.

“I am sure the new powers of the President Erdoğan will make Medvedev, who served as President between 2008-2012 quite jealous,” Dr. Kerim Has, an expert on Russia-Turkey relations, said after the announcement.

Has also said along with Medvedev, the head of the Liberal Demokrat Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky will be in the delegation. Zhirinovsky, during the jet crisis between Russia and Turkey in 2016, proposed to drop a nuclear bomb in Turkey, Has reminded.

Since a rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow following Turkey’s downing of a Russian SU-24 bomber near the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015, the two countries have been coordinating military operations in Syria. 

Russia and Turkey also cooperate in energy policies and Turkey’s first nuclear plant is being constructed in a joint Russian-Turkish project with Russian energy company Rosatom the majority stakeholder. Turkey decided to purchase Russian S-400 missile defence system despite its NATO allies’ objections and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in June that that he had made an offer to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for joint production of the next-generation S-500 missile defence system. 

The presidents of 17 countries including Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Guinea, Somali, Zambia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Georgia are expected to come to Ankara on July 9 to attend president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s oath-taking ceremony.