President Erdoğan accuses NATO, EU of failure to act over Ukraine
The West and its institutions, particularly NATO, should have taken more decisive steps on the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, stressing that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky needs more concrete support than advices from Western capitals.
Erdoğan’s statement came hours before NATO leaders virtually met on Feb. 25 to discuss the measures the alliance will take in the face of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“NATO should have taken a more decisive step,” Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul.
Russia began what it called “a special military operation” against the Ukrainian government early Feb. 24 in violation of international law. Almost all nations and international organizations have condemned Moscow and announced economic and financial sanctions. Critics say the sanctions were far from deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Although the United States, the European Union and some Western nations have already announced the sanctions they will impose against Moscow, Zelensky said they “were left alone against Russia.” He criticized the West for being late in offering its concrete support.
“The EU and all the rest of the West have failed to display a decisive and serious stance. They give plenty of advice to Ukraine. It’s not possible to get a result through these advices,” Erdoğan stated.
“The West, which has given plenty of advice until today, continue to offer advice to Ukraine,” he added. “What have you done until now? There is no step taken. That’s why I attach importance to the NATO meeting. It should not turn into a mere array of condemnation; NATO should be more determined,” said Erdoğan.
Turkey is a NATO member on the southern flank of the alliance and is neighboring Russia in the Black Sea. Erdoğan had already contacted NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and French President Emmanuel Macron before the NATO summit.
Turkey working on evacuating citizens
On another question, Erdoğan said Turkey’s Foreign Ministry and its diplomatic missions in Ukraine are exerting efforts for the evacuation of Turkish citizens from the country. “Air transportation is not safe. Our embassy and consulates are seeking ways over the land transportation of our citizens wishing to leave Ukraine,” he informed.