By Janet Extract
İSTANBUL (GOLDENHORN AGENCY) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated that Turkey’s strength in diplomatic efforts between Ukraine and Russia is its ability to have a balanced and positive relationship with both countries. Since Turkey is in such a strategic location with its Black Sea bordering Russia, Erdogan said it’s crucial for Turkey to maintain its good relations with Russia despite the Turkish government’s opposition to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The Turkish leader previously stated that Ukraine’s President Zelensky requested Turkey be the mediator between Ukraine and Russia which Russia also agreed to. The Turkish leader explained this is because of the very good relations Turkey maintains with both countries.
Meanwhile, as talks are set to continue, Erdogan told the press: “I may meet with Putin in the next few days to assess the meetings at the NATO summit, then I plan to hell him ‘now, you should be the architect of the next step taken for peace.’ We should be looking to settle the conflict by encouraging ‘an honorable exit from this.” The Turkish president added that he will schedule new meetings with Zelensky and Putin very soon to find additional ways of resolving the conflict.
Erdogan explained that he plans to evaluate sanctions adopted by the UN but emphasized Turkey will not sever ties with Russia. The Turkish government has made it clear that it is determined to play a critical role in reaching a ceasefire and has reiterated its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Though Turkey has many contentious points with Russian policies in Syria, Libya and the annexation of Crimea, it also maintains close tourism, energy and business ties with Russia. To assist Turkey in its diplomatic efforts, French President Emmanuel Macron will also be involved in diplomacy between the two sides in attempting to put an end to a war that has devastated Ukraine and displaced more than four million people.