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Turkiye FM says Russia, Ukraine ‘close to agreement’

March 21, 2022 at 4:07 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Antalya, Turkiye on 10 March 2022 [Orhan Çiçek/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, yesterday said that Russia and Ukraine are close to making an agreement in bringing a halt to the war.

“Of course, it is not an easy thing to come to terms with while the war is going on, while civilians are killed, but we would like to say that momentum is still gained,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by AFP.

“We see that the parties are close to an agreement,” he added with reference to reported negotiations between the two countries last week, which has involved offers to mediate by both Turkey and Israel.

Cavusoglu confirmed that Ankara was in contact with negotiating teams from both countries. “We play an honest mediator and facilitator role,” he said.

“We can say we are hopeful for a cease-fire if the sides do not take a step back from the current positions,” Cavusoglu added, without elaborating further.

READ: Ukraine calls for Turkey to be guarantor in Russia ceasefire deal

The diplomat’s comments come after his visit to Russia and Ukraine last week and, earlier this month, Turkey hosted the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in Antalya.

According to an interview with Turkiye’s Hurriyet newspaper, Presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, explained that both sides were negotiating six points: Ukraine’s neutrality, disarmament and security guarantees, “de-Nazification”, removal of obstacles to the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, the status of the breakaway Donbass region and the status of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

NATO-member, Turkey, maintains important relations with both countries and is trying to balance these ties, having provided Ukraine with drones but it also relies on Russia’s gas supplies, grain and tourism revenues. Ankara and Moscow have also co-operated and opposed one another in several conflicts across the Middle East and the Caucasus.

READ: Strategic meeting of Ukrainian, Russian leaders needed for permanent peace, says Turkiye