Kalin: Turkey maintains diplomatic balance to facilitate peace talks

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Turkey will have to maintain a delicate diplomatic balance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in order to remain able to help a possible end to the war through negotiations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said in an interview.

Ibrahim Kalin, who is also Erdogan’s key foreign policy adviser, said that although Ankara had criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its actions on the battlefield, it would not help to adopt a more punitive attitude towards in Moscow.

Turkey, a NATO member and neighbor of both Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea, maintains good relations with both and has opposed Western sanctions against Russia.

After the outbreak of the war, thousands of Russians have taken refuge in Turkey, including some oligarchs on their yachts.

However, it has also provided drones to Kyiv and prevented some Russian ships from crossing the Black Sea. At the same time, Turkey has hosted talks between the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and Russia and between their groups.

“We were opposed to this war from the beginning, but at the same time we kept in touch with Moscow,” Kalin said over the weekend.

“They need someone – a trusted partner, a negotiator, a coordinator, a facilitator – someone who can talk to the Russian side as well as the Ukrainian side,” he told Reuters.

“We have been able to maintain this position since the beginning of the war and I believe it is in the common interest of all to maintain a balanced position,” Kalin said.

Relations with the USA

Russian forces began withdrawing from the area near Kyiv following peace talks in late March in Istanbul.

Turkey has not hosted other talks since, but in recent weeks has offered to remove wounded fighters trapped by sea at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, southern Ukraine.

It is unclear when or if Turkey will host talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. “There is no magic way to solve this overnight,” Kalin said.

Asked what could push Turkey to adopt a more supportive and punitive attitude towards Ukraine and a more punitive attitude towards Russia, he replied: “What would that help? It would not change the outcome or the course of the war at this stage.”

The delivery of drones to Ukraine has angered Moscow, and Turkey’s decision not to impose sanctions on Russia has angered Western diplomats.

Reuters notes that there are only a few clear indications that Turkey is warming up its relations with the West, following its objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

However, Kalin referred to the US government’s letter to Congress about the possible sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets to Turkey as a sign of progress.

“The Biden government has taken a number of concrete, positive steps to move this issue forward,” said Erdogan’s adviser.

Source: AMPE

Source: Capital

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