Turkey will once again urge Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for an in-person meeting in Turkey to have a peace deal, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, adding he has planned to hold phone conversations with both leaders after returning from Uzbekistan.
“But in the meantime, it is of great importance to ensure a temporary ceasefire,” the president added.
Erdoğan also said Turkey welcomes any possible guarantor role for the security of Ukraine if the warring sides could reach a peace deal.
“We can be one of the guarantor countries in terms of guaranteeing the security of Ukraine. We welcome this in principle. But of course, the details need to be clarified,” he stated.
Asked about Turkey’s position on the international embargoes against Russia, Erdoğan said Ankara would not join these sanctions.
“We also attach importance to maintaining our dialogue while we express our reaction to Russia’s military activities. This dialogue is important and necessary not only in the context of Ukraine but also in many geographies that are closely related to us, such as Syria, Libya and the South Caucasus,” he said.
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was included in the Russian delegation when the negotiation teams met in Istanbul on March 29, Erdoğan said.
“If Russia and Mr. Putin preferred to include Abramovich in their delegation, it means that he believed and trusted. We greeted him as well as everyone else at that meeting,” the president said.
Turkey’s role in mediation between Russia and Ukraine has changed the perceptions in the West towards Turkey, he also said.
“The pro-peace, principled and at the same time balanced policy pursued by our country in the Ukraine issue is appreciated by all parties,” the president stated.
Recalling his meetings on the sidelines of the NATO summit, Erdoğan said he observed a “positive approach” toward Turkey.
“Many leaders brought up the importance of Turkey’s responsibility and the importance of these bilateral dialogues. Especially after the meeting in Istanbul, the result of the meeting led many European Union member states and NATO member states to a different perspective toward Turkey. I mean the whole west,” he said.
“Now, our wish is this, I hope that Turkey’s place in the eyes of all leaders will be very different,” Erdoğan added.