Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkey eyes diplomatic balance for Ukrainian peace talks

Turkey must maintain a delicate diplomatic balance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so that it remains able to help facilitate an eventual negotiated end to the war, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said in an interview. Ibrahim Kalin, who is also Erdogan’s chief foreign policy adviser, said that while Ankara has criticised Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion and actions on the battlefield it would do no good to take a more punitive stance against Russia. “We have opposed this war from the beginning” but also maintained contact with Moscow, Kalin said. “They need someone – a trusted partner, negotiator, facilitator, moderator – someone in some position to be able to speak to the Russian side as well as to the Ukrainian side,” he told Reuters. “We have been able to maintain this position since the beginning of the war and I think it is really in everybody’s shared interest that everybody maintains a balanced position.” (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-must-keep-diplomatic-balance-070710642.html) NATO member Turkey, a Black Sea neighbour of the warring nations, has good ties with both and has opposed Western sanctions on Moscow. It has seen tens of thousands of Russians – and some oligarchs’ sanctioned yachts – arrive since war began. Yet it has also supplied Kyiv with armed drones and blocked some Russian naval passage to the Black Sea, and stands alone as having hosted talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers and separately between their teams.

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