Clear message from Moscow: Erdogan cannot mediate in Russia-Ukraine war

Erdogan neither sides with Ukraine nor with Russia; his position seems neutral.

by Sead Dedovic
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Clear message from Moscow: Erdogan cannot mediate in Russia-Ukraine war
© Burak Kara / Getty Images

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is always an intriguing figure in the world of politics, and this time is no different. Turkey, as one of the larger countries and an important hub for everyone, maintains friendships with many nations. Turkey's policy towards Russia and Ukraine is particularly interesting. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to adopt a similar stance to some European leaders. He neither sides with Ukraine nor with Russia; his position seems neutral. 

Confirmation of this came today when the Turkish president met with Vladimir Putin in Astana, Kazakhstan, as part of the 24th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization heads of state. During their discussions, Erdogan invited the Russian leader to visit Turkey, looking forward to hosting him.

"Besides this warm relationship between Russia and Turkey, I look forward to hosting you in my country as soon as possible," Erdogan said.

Erdogan Proposes High-Level Four-Party Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh Issue
Erdogan Proposes High-Level Four-Party Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh Issue© Getty Images News/Sean Gallup
 

The Turkish president pointed out they have not had a chance to talk with Putin for a long time, although they have been maintaining telephone diplomacy. Turkey and Russia are trying to maintain excellent relations, regardless of the events in Ukraine. However, it is also interesting that Erdogan has been arming Ukraine for a long time, which has not damaged his relationship with Russia. 

The question arises, what kind of policy does the Turkish leader want to lead? According to many, this attitude is unacceptable. People on social media believe that the leader of Turkey must openly stand on the side of Russia or Ukraine

"We haven't been able to meet for a long time with my dear friend. We've maintained diplomatic phone calls, but our colleagues have been in constant contact with each other. Our ministers have continued their communication," said Erdogan.

Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan cannot act as a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported. Peskov pointed out that the Turkish president cannot play such a role in the coming period. 

Peskov has some other views and opinions, which are promoted by Vladimir Putin. 

From the beginning of the war, the Russian leader emphasized that he was ready for negotiations with Ukraine, but in essence, his intentions were for the Ukrainians to agree to the conditions set by the Russians. Volodymyr Zelensky and the government of Ukraine consider this unacceptable. 

They are open to fighting against the Russians, ready to prevent them from their long-standing intentions. The war lasted for more than two years, and neither side felt the benefits. Russia is under sanctions and in an economic crisis, while Ukraine is facing another type of problem within the country, probably economic as well.

Recep Tayipp Erdogan and his statements in March

In March of this year, Erdogan spoke about Turkey's leadership and its position regarding the war in Ukraine, stressing that they are ready to support Ukrainian sovereignty and the territorial integrity of this country. In addition, Erdogan believes that the Russians must be part of the peace agreements and must not be excluded. Then, according to the media, he alluded to the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland.


"While putting forth our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, we have already said that peace plans excluding Russia will not yield any results," Erdogan said.

The Turkish president emphasizes establishing security in the Black Sea to ensure that trade processes continue as usual. This could bring peace to the region. If the situation becomes more tense and Turkey pushes for prohibitive measures, conflict, or other actions, it will only worsen relations further and lead to negative consequences. This is not a scenario that Erdogan wants to see.

"We are working to re-establish navigational safety in the Black Sea and ensure grain trade can be done safely. We believe steps that would exacerbate conflicts in the region, that would spread to NATO as well must be avoided," he concluded.

There is still danger and fear of Russia in the world, given that no one can predict the next moves of this Eastern country. Vladimir Putin is a leader who sends indirect messages, his views are often unclear, and it is difficult to draw a true conclusion when it comes to his intentions.

Such politics of the Russian leader scares the whole of Europe, but also the world, which is afraid of the consequences that could follow. Vladimir Putin could make radical moves that will create even greater chaos, but for now he has no such intention. His priority is Ukraine.

He wants to achieve goals in a neighboring country, frustrated by Ukraine's desire to be part of NATO, as well as by Russian rights in some parts of Ukraine.

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