TURKEY: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan engaged in a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss the nature of bilateral ties between the two countries and deliberate on ways to improve them, along with discussions on potential closure to the ongoing Ukraine war under Putin’s command.
Erdogan reiterated Ankara’s eagerness to act as a mediator between the two countries and bear witness to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine conflict, his office said on Friday.
Erdogan later said that Putin thanked him for his mediation.
According to Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, the duo discussed the latest developments in the war: the rapid Ukrainian victories in some of the Russian-occupied areas that fell prey to Putin’s “sham” referendums, mandatory military call-ups, and the overwhelming Western support for Kyiv.
The call also coincided with Putin’s birthday; he turned 70.
NATO member Turkey has close ties with both warring nations and has sought to broker a strategic and tactical balance of ties during the war, rejecting Western sanctions on Moscow but criticising the Russian invasion and supplying Kyiv with armed drones.
Along with the United Nations, Turkey brokered the July deal to unlock Ukrainian grain exports from its Black Sea ports, in what remains the only significant diplomatic breakthrough in the seven-month-old conflict.
Meanwhile, Ankara’s ties with Moscow have become a bit complex, with the two countries bonding over energy supplies but at loggerheads with each other on Syria, Libya, and Azerbaijan.
Turkey is one of the most active countries in the world working to ensure that a permanent ceasefire is declared between the two rivals.
Its delicately and diplomatically balanced act of assuming the role of mediator shows a glimmer of hope in tactical efforts to secure peace in the Ukraine crisis.