Türkiye calls for Russia, Ukraine truce ahead of Erdoğan-Putin meeting

Türkiye calls for Russia, Ukraine truce ahead of Erdoğan-Putin meeting

Türkiye calls for Russia, Ukraine truce ahead of Erdoğan-Putin meeting

Türkiye on Oct. 11 called for a ceasefire in Ukraine ahead of a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Kazakh capital Astana.

“A ceasefire must be established as soon as possible. The sooner the better,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with the TVnet broadcaster.

The Russian attacks jeopardized the diplomatic efforts which aimed to solve the Ukrainian crisis Çavuşoğlu said.

“Unfortunately [both sides] have quickly moved away from diplomacy” since the talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul in March, he stated.

“As the Ukraine-Russian war drags on, unfortunately, the situation gets worse and more complicated,” added the Turkish top diplomat.

Erdoğan, who has a good working relationship with Putin despite disagreements on several issues including in Syria, will meet with the Russian leader in Astana on Oct. 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Oct. 11.

Lavrov said that Moscow was open to talks with the West on the Ukraine war but had yet to receive any serious proposal to negotiate.

The Turkish president has long sought to bring together Kyiv and Moscow for truce talks since Russia attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24. NATO member Türkiye, which has stayed neutral throughout the conflict in Ukraine, has good relations with its two Black Sea neighbors, Russia and Ukraine.

Greece disturbed by Türkiye’s global position

Elaborating on Greece’s “provocative” actions against Türkiye in the recent period, Çavuşoğlu said, “Greece is very disturbed by the fact that Türkiye is not only a regional but also a global actor.”

He emphasized that Greece violated the non-military status of the eastern Aegean islands and that it panicked after the letters Türkiye sent to the U.N.

Çavuşoğlu called on Greece to go to the International Court of Justice to resolve the problems between Ankara and Athens regarding the Aegean Sea.

“I call on Greece, ‘Come, if you are confident in yourself, don’t deceive the nation, don’t lie. Remove the reserve you have placed in the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice regarding the status of these demilitarized islands,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Pointing out that Greece violates international law, especially regarding airspace, Çavuşoğlu said, “This time, we are responding in kind. We are also responding to every step of the way in the field, at sea and on land.”

When asked about the support of the United States to Greece, Çavuşoğlu said, “The balance of the U.S. is broken. It was balanced in Cyprus, in the relations between Greece and Türkiye before.”

He suggested that Washington spoiled the balance to make the Greek lobbies happy.

The U.S. Ambassador in Athens should know that this policy will neither benefit the U.S. nor benefit Greece, he said and added, “Not in Cyprus. We have to protect our interests, and we will, even if the World turns up against us. We will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. We will also protect our interests.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Vahit Kirişci expressed his concern about the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on the grain corridor.

“There is no risk for us, but if the war continues as it is, there is a risk, it should worry everyone,” he told reporters on Oct. 10 after the cabinet meeting.

“It is also important for us because as a result, we are also inevitably affected by world prices,” he added.