Russia never considered Turkey as strategic ally, says Lavrov

Russia has never considered Turkey as its strategic ally, but sees the country as a close partner, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Russian radio stations on Wednesday.

The Russian foreign minister's remarks arrive during the third week of a flare-up in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, where Ankara and Moscow are on opposite sides of the trenches. 

Ankara has vowed full support for Azerbaijan, while Russia is a military ally of Armenia.

“We have never considered Turkey as our strategic ally. It (Turkey) is a close partner, that partnership has strategic nature in many areas,” Birgün newspaper cited Lavrov as saying.

Moscow and Ankara also back opposing sides in the wars in Libya and Syria.

A Russia-brokered truce was supposed to come into force in the breakaway South Caucasus region last Saturday, but appears to be failing, with both sides accusing each other of violating the truce.

Lavron on Wednesday said that he disagreed with Turkey’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“We do not agree with the position voiced by Turkey, that was also expressed several times by (Azeri) President Aliyev,” Lavrov said on Wednesday. “It is not a secret that we cannot agree with a statement that a military solution to the conflict is permissible.”