Turkey says the world can’t be cut off from Russia

Turkey urges countries not to cut ties with Russia, but to continue discussions with it to help end the conflict in Ukraine.

“If all are cut off from Russia, who will talk to them? Ukrainians need support so they can defend themselves, but Russia also needs to be heard, one way or another,” a spokesman for the General Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin said on March 27.

Ankara says it disagrees with Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, but opposes Western sanctions against Moscow.

Turkey is an active participant in efforts to find a solution to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, because it is one of the few countries that has good relations with both sides.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, in September 2021. Photo: Reuters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, in September 2021. Photo: Reuters.

Turkey has held talks at the foreign ministerial level of Russia and Ukraine, but failed to reach a breakthrough solution. Delegations from Moscow and Kiev are scheduled to meet in Turkey this week to continue to find ways to resolve the conflict.

The United States and its allies have imposed rounds of sanctions on Russia, such as removing some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system, banning many imports from Russia and removing most favored nation status with this country.

The US also announced a ban on oil and other energy imports from Russia, while the UK and EU plan to reduce their dependence on this energy source. The US and EU have signed an agreement to supply more gas from Washington to Europe, as the region seeks to limit its dependence on Russian energy.

Russia responded by banning the export of more than 200 items in the telecommunications, medical, automotive, agricultural, electrical engineering and technology sectors until the end of 2022 in response.

Moscow also imposed sanctions on the President and a number of senior US officials, banning them from entering Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov accused the West of adopting a policy to strangle Russia’s economy in an “all-out war” against the country.