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Turkey boxed in by Russian moves in Crimea

The Ukraine crisis will likely harden Russia’s support for Syria, further complicating Turkey’s regional policies.
Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 4, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia's actions in Crimea on Tuesday and reserved the right to use force in Ukraine as a last resort, but he sought to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic.  REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNRE
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The dangerous standoff in Ukraine between Russia and the West is reminding Turks once again of their volatile neighborhood, where unexpected developments can alter the geostrategic equation unexpectedly, leaving Turkey facing difficult choices and decisions overnight. These events are also showing just how interconnected developments in this part of the world are when superpower rivalry is concerned.

Rising tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine will most likely make the Syrian crisis more intractable and increase Turkey’s Syrian headache while Moscow positions itself more firmly behind Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, keeping in mind its naval base in Tartus and military ties with the Baathist regime.

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