Russian President Vladmir Putin’s contacts with his Turkish counterpart have increased significantly, as opposed to his decreasing contact with his French and German counterparts, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
The upward trajectory of the Russian leader’s talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are sparked by that fact that “Ankara takes a position that is different from the one that Paris and Berlin adhere to,” Russian state agency TASS cited Peskov as saying.
Unlike Erdoğan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz do not want to listen to Moscow’s position or mediate in the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, Peskov said.
NATO member Turkey maintains good relations with both Russia and Ukraine and has been engaged in a balancing act since conflict erupted between the countries in February. Ankara has refused to apply sanctions against Moscow unlike Western nations while acting as an intermediary between the two countries and was involved in a July deal to unlock grain exports from Ukraine.
“Ankara declares its readiness to continue mediation efforts,” the spokesman said, adding that Putin has “repeatedly praised these Turkish mediation efforts.”
“In addition, we have quite vast trade and economic relations, we implement various large projects,” Peskov said, “all this is a pretext for the heads of state to meet often.”
Ankara and Moscow have expanding trade and financial links since the outbreak of war in February, sparking fears in the West that Ankara is turning increasingly to Moscow.