The Russian leader has championed a multi-polar world in which regional powers challenge Washington’s traditional leadership, but Erdogan is proving more than a match as they wrestle for influence.

“We’re allies in some respects but in others our interests are diametrically opposed,” said Andrei Baklanov, a former Russian diplomat who’s served in posts including ambassador to Saudi Arabia and is now affiliated to the Valdai club in Moscow. “We have to learn to live with this situation.”

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