Turkey condemns pro-Russian separatist offensive in Mariupol

Turkey condemns pro-Russian separatist offensive in Mariupol

Turkey condemns pro-Russian separatist offensive in Mariupol

A man walks by a burned car and a piece of exploded Grad missile, outside an apartment building in the Vostochniy district of Mariupol, Eastern Ukraine, Jan. 25. AP Photo

Turkey has condemned the intensified attacks against civilians by pro-Russian separatist forces in the eastern Ukrainian town of Mariupol, as NATO and Ukraine met in an urgent meeting on Jan. 25.

“We had already pointed out our concern due to the recently intensified clashes and the increasing loss of civilian lives in eastern Ukraine,” said a written statement issued late on Jan. 25 by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The statement underlined that the attacks carried out on Jan. 24 in Mariupol targeted civilian residential areas, without specifying who was responsible for these offensives.

“We strongly condemn these indiscriminate attacks, convey our condolences to all Ukrainian people and wish a speedy recovery for the wounded,” it said.

“These missile attacks targeting civilians indicate that the calls made by Turkey and the international community for the compliance with the Minsk cease-fire agreements are being disregarded. Turkey invites all parties once again for sincere and constructive dialogue within the framework of the Minsk agreements in order to find, on the basis of international law, a political solution to the crisis, which is also a threat to regional security and stability,” the Foreign Ministry added.

“Moreover, we reiterate that we will continue to support the initiatives to secure the cease-fire as a basis for lasting peace and to prevent the recurrence of such attacks,” it stated.

Turkey has made clear that it will not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia and stood along with its NATO partners against Russia, but also it said it would not abide by the bilateral economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the EU.