Turkey sole country to mediate between Russia, Ukraine: MHP leader

Turkey sole country to mediate between Russia, Ukraine: MHP leader

Turkey sole country to mediate between Russia, Ukraine: MHP leader

Turkey has come to the fore as the only country that can settle the grave conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and act as a mediator thanks to its political and strategic position, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader said on March 8.

Russia’s military operations must come to an end, and a ceasefire must be established, Devlet Bahçeli, said speaking to his party members at the parliament.

Many countries, especially Turkey, are exposed to the dire consequences of this war on economic, commercial, humanitarian and diplomatic grounds, Bahçeli said.

Some 87 percent of Turkey’s wheat imports are from Russia and Ukraine, 40 percent of natural gas and 25 percent of oil are supplied from this country as well, Bahçeli said, noting 7 million tourists travel to Turkey annually.

“The prolongation of the war will block trade channels and introduce a severe turbulence that is difficult to predict after the coronavirus [pandemic] in the economies of the countries,” Bahçeli stated.

The economic, commercial and humanitarian costs of the war are getting heavier, the innocent are being targeted and the number of casualties is increasing, he emphasized.

He recalled that the number of Ukrainians alone who came to Turkey reached 20,000.

Criticizing Russia’s attitude over efforts to establish a ceasefire, the MHP leader said that Moscow’s statement expressing that it is open to dialogue but, on the other hand, is still continuing its attacks meant nothing more than a strategic distraction.

Ukraine responds positively to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calls for negotiations, but on the other hand, it is an “ambivalent attitude to say that military operations continue in accordance with the determined plans,” Bahçeli said.

“Although Russia’s decision on a temporary ceasefire and announcing that a humanitarian corridor would be opened in many cities yesterday gave a breath of fresh air to optimistic assessments, this development is a harbinger of more violent conflicts,” he stated.