President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey could not abandon its ties with Russia or Ukraine by criticising Western diplomatic efforts with Moscow as achieving little, local broadcaster NTV reports.
According to the report, Erdogan repeated his offer to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and said NATO member, Turkey, which has good ties with both, would take steps that do not harm its bilateral ties.
“It is not possible for us to abandon either [country],” he was cited as saying by Turkish broadcasters. “Our aim is that we take such a step that, God willing, we sort this out without abandoning either one.”
The French President, Macron had invited Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden to attend a summit aimed at de-escalating the Ukraine crisis and this mediating initiative achieved no success.
On the other hand, Turkey and Russia have deep military ties, with Ankara buying Russian S-400 defence missile systems, despite threats of US sanctions.
Last February, Turkey and Russia opened a joint military facility in Azerbaijan to help monitor the ceasefire with Armenia, a stark indicator of the shifting geopolitics in the region.