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Turkiye reiterates support for Ukraine but refuses to accept NATO intervention against Russia

June 2, 2024 at 9:17 am

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan speaks during a press conference in Istanbul, Turkiye on April 26, 2024 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye has reiterated its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and efforts to secure its sovereignty, but warned of its refusal to support NATO’s involvement in the war against Russia’s invasion.

Following an informal meeting of the heads of diplomacy of the NATO military alliance in the Czech capital Prague yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan stated that “We support the continuation of aid to Ukraine and Ukraine’s capacity to provide deterrence, but we do not want NATO to participate in that war”.

Since Russia’s launch of its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the NATO alliance and its members have provided limited support to Kyiv and have held numerous training exercises on the country’s borders and in its neighbouring states.

READ: Russia’s Red Army cultural diplomacy backfires in Turkiye

That support has stopped short of direct and overt intervention in the ongoing conflict, however, with Ukraine neither yet being a member of NATO nor Russia having launched military attacks on any of the alliance’s members of forces.

Not all member states have been enthusiastic for a direct intervention either, with many holding the view reportedly expressed by Turkish foreign minister Fidan that such a move would risk a regional expansion of the conflict and the greater crises.

Throughout the war in Ukraine, Ankara has maintained a largely neutral and mediatory position between Moscow and Kyiv, supporting Ukrainian territorial integrity while attempting to calm Western tensions with Russia.

READ: Turkey’s balancing act as NATO seeks to expand