You can’t end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Russia – Erdogan aide


By Orhan Coskun

ANKARA – A senior official of the Turkish president said on Friday that the international community could not end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Moscow, as Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The meeting, less than three weeks after the talks in Tehran, comes after Turkey helped broker a deal to resume Ukrainian Black Sea grain exports that were blocked by the Russian invasion.

Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the deal attested to the success of NATO the efforts of member Turkey and the direct diplomacy between the two leaders, while criticizing the role played by other countries.

“The truth is that some of our friends don’t want the war to end. They shed crocodile tears,” Altun told Reuters, saying some were actively trying to undermine Turkey’s efforts without specifying who.

“The international community cannot end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Russia. Diplomacy and peace must prevail,” he said.

Erdogan was due to meet Putin on Friday afternoon before a meeting between delegations from the two countries.

Turkey has relatively good relations with Ukraine and Russia. But while he criticized the invasion and supplied arms to Ukraine, he broke with Western allies by not imposing sanctions on Russia.

“We seek to leverage Turkey’s relations with Russia and Ukraine to work towards a mutually acceptable solution,” Altun said.

While there is close cooperation with Russia in energy supply, there has also been military competition between them in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan.

Friday’s talks between Erdogan and Putin were also likely to deal with Turkey’s threat to launch new military operations in Syria to expand 30 km (20 mile) deep “safe zones” on the border.


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