A top aide to Turkey’s president said today that the international community cannot end the war in Ukraine if it ignores Moscow, as Tayyip Erdogan heads to Russia today to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The meeting between the two presidents, less than three weeks after they held talks in Tehran, comes after Turkey helped broker a deal to resume grain exports that had been halted by the Russian invasion.
Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish president’s communications director, said the agreement testified to the success of NATO member Turkey’s efforts and direct diplomacy between the two leaders, while criticizing the role played by other countries.
“The truth is that some of our friends do not want this war to end. They are shedding crocodile tears,” Altun told Reuters, adding that some were actively trying to undermine Turkey’s efforts, without specifying who.
“The international community cannot end the war in Ukraine while ignoring Russia. Diplomacy and peace must prevail,” he stressed.
Erdogan is due to meet with Putin this afternoon, ahead of a meeting of delegations from the two countries. Turkey’s threat to launch new military operations in Syria to expand 30km-wide “safe zones” along its border is also likely to be discussed during the two presidents’ talks.