https://ahvalnews.com-U.S. President Joe Biden held a conference call on Monday with allies and partners in Europe to coordinate their positions on supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia. Excluded from the call was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to a readout of the call, Biden met with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom, Romania and the European Union to discuss “their coordinated efforts to impose severe costs and consequences to hold Russia accountable while working to maintain global economic stability”.
The call followed a new round of U.S sanctions against Russia’s Central Bank on Monday that aimed to affect its ability to utilise the hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign currency reserves Moscow has amassed. Over the weekend, the Russian ruble depreciated sharply against the dollar while the Moscow Stock Exchange experienced one of the worst collapses in its history, shedding nearly 33 percent of its value after the sanctions were initiated.
European countries tightened their own sanctions against Russia and announced that they would be closing their airspace to Russian planes. Even neutral Switzerland joined in the European sanctions regime after condemning the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
Turkey too has condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine, but it has not participated in any sanctions against it for fear of Russian retaliation. Erdoğan has been critical of what he saw as the “indecisiveness” of the West to prevent war in Ukraine and their reliance on sanctions.
On Monday, Erdoğan declared that Turkey would restrict access to the Black Sea through the Bosporus straits.
Erdoğan was not specific about whether Russian ships would be prevented from entering or exiting the Black Sea through the implementation of clauses in the 1936 Montreux Convention. Instead, he made clear that Turkey would stand by its partners without abandoning Russia.
“Turkey will not give up its national interests but won’t neglect the regional and global balance either,” the president said. “We won’t turn away from Russia or Ukraine.”
While Erdoğan was absent from Biden’s call with his allies on Ukraine, U.S and Turkish officials were in touch earlier in the day.
İbrahim Kalın, Erdoğan ‘s chief foreign policy advisor, spoke over the phone with Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan about the war and reiterated Turkish support for Ukraine. According to Erdoğan’s office, Kalin and Sullivan agreed to “intensify efforts towards a ceasefire”.