Turkish FM says some NATO states want Ukrainian war to continue
Some NATO member countries want the Russia-Ukraine war to prolong so Russia gets weaker, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on April 20, stressing that rival states must not see Ukraine as an arena of competition.
“After the talks in Istanbul, we did not think that the war would take this long. There are those who want this war to continue,” the minister told broadcaster CNN Türk.
“But, following the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting, it was the impression that... there are those within the NATO member states that want the war to continue, let the war continue and Russia gets weaker. They don’t care much about the situation in Ukraine,” he added.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that Ukraine must not be seen as an arena of competition.
The war between Ukraine and Russia is prolonging not just because some NATO states want it so but because the attacks against civilians have resulted in “tragic images,” making the peace talks difficult, he said.
“But not only because of this but also as the conditions on the ground get tough, [negotiations] get harder. We should not attribute this situation to those who do not want the war to end.”
They were aware that there would be no result in the meeting in Antalya in March, but it was important to bring them together, Çavuşoğlu said, adding: “Our hopes rose when we looked at the conversations they had with us. We made statements accordingly. When the images of the massacre came, the atmosphere became tense. They moved away from the Istanbul agreement.”
Despite everything, the two sides held talks to continue negotiations, while back-channel diplomacy also continues among leaders, Çavuşoğlu stated, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would speak to the leaders again in the coming days.
“The meeting of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in Antalya is still on the table. They both give positive messages for the meeting, but when the conditions are met,” the minister said.
Upon the question of whether there was any proposal that would violate the Montreux Convention, Çavuşoğlu stated that such an offer did not come directly, while Turkey wanted four of Russia’s ships not to pass the straits after the war started.
He cited a pre-planned exercise of NATO in the Black Sea, which required the passing of Italian and British warships through the Bosphorus. “We told them that it would not be right to hold such an exercise now, that we should postpone it,” the minister said.
Çavuşoğlu to visit Israel in May
Asked about Turkey-Israel relations, the minister said he would visit Palestine and Israel in the third week of May. Dialogue with both parties is always beneficial, Çavuşoğlu said, adding: “Not only [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas, but also Hamas said that normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey is very beneficial for them.”