Situation may worsen if Ukraine war prolongs: FM
Turkey remains cautiously optimist about a truce between Ukraine and Russia while urging that the situation in the field may become worse and more complicated in case the war prolongs, according to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
“Ceasefire efforts will be more difficult if there are new attacks in the Donbas region,” the minister said, speaking to broadcaster NTV on April 14.
The attacks on Bucha town of Ukraine negatively affected the ongoing negotiations, Çavuşoğlu said.
“The inhumane images from regions such as Bucha and Irpin, which we also condemned, changed the atmosphere. It created a negative atmosphere on the Ukrainian side. There were different statements of the Russian Federation regarding this, but ultimately this negatively affected the negotiation process,” Çavuşoğlu stated.
Emphasizing that the longer the problem lasts, the more difficult finding a solution will become, Çavuşoğlu said, “Despite all the difficulties, there is a possibility of a ceasefire.”
The parties of the warring sides display a more positive approach at talks with Turkey regarding the peace negotiations, compared to their public statements, Çavuşoğlu added.
Turkey is still continuing its efforts to bring Russian and Ukrainian leaders together, and recently Turkish and Ukrainian delegations had an online meeting to discuss the developments, Çavuşoğlu stated.
Asked whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Turkey, Çavuşoğlu said: “Intensive negotiations continue between the two delegations. The meeting depends on Putin’s yes.”
Elaborating on the evacuation of civilians from Ukraine, the minister said less than 30 Turkish citizens remained in Mariupol city.
Turkey would comply with the sanctions of the United Nations, he said, adding, “Turkey is acting in accordance with international law. We will maintain our balanced stance.”
Elaborating on the relations between Turkey and the United States, the minister welcomed a letter by the U.S. State Department to the Congress endorsing the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.
“We attach importance to the letter in a positive way. Congress needs to be persuaded. It is the Biden administration that will convince the Congress,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu noted that Washington invited him to meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on May 18.