Çavuşoğlu, Blinken discuss Russia-Ukraine tension over phone
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken, discussed regional-bilateral issues, including the tension between Russia and Ukraine over the phone on Jan. 3.
They discussed tensions between Ukraine and Russia ahead of a meeting by NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Turkey-U.S. bilateral relations, especially the revival of the strategic mechanism and developments in Sudan, Ethiopia and the Caucasus were also discussed, the ministry noted.
“Good call with Turkish Foreign Minister @MevlutCavusoglu, the United States and Turkey continue our close coordination on the threat of Russian escalation in Ukraine and, separately, to deepen cooperation bilaterally and as @NATO Allies,” Blinken said on Twitter following the phone call.
The two ministers discussed the importance of continued coordination regarding the threat of Russian escalation in Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
They also discussed issues related to the Horn of Africa, Turkey’s appointment of a special envoy to discuss the process of normalization with Armenia, and opportunities to deepen cooperation bilaterally and as NATO Allies to address areas of mutual concern, he noted.
The Russians have moved an estimated 100,000 troops toward Ukraine and Kremlin officials have turned up the volume on their demands for new guarantees from the U.S. and NATO.
With tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed on Ukraine’s border, the Biden administration has accepted talks in Geneva next week with Moscow, which has proposed agreements to limit NATO’s expansion.
Last week, Çavuşoğlu urged Russia to drop “one-sided” demands and adopt a more constructive approach in its standoff with Western powers and NATO over Ukraine.
“Russia made some proposals. But maybe NATO seeks the same kind of guarantees from Russia. This is not a one-sided issue. If the requests are maximalist - I’m not saying that Russia is maximalist in any case - both sides must be constructive,” he said.
“If Russia has any certain specific expectation or issue from Turkey regarding reducing tensions between Russia and NATO, Turkey will evaluate this positively because our objective is clear,” the minister said.