Turkiye ready to play role in reducing tensions between Russia and Ukraine: Official

Turkiye ready to play role in reducing tensions between Russia and Ukraine: Official
# 19 January 2022 05:42 (UTC +04:00)

A “serious and genuine conversation” is underway between Russia and Western countries, and Turkiye is willing to contribute to the elimination of differences between Russia and Ukraine, Turkiye’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Kalin’s remarks came at an online webinar titled ‘Russia-Ukraine Tension: What is at Stake for Europe and NATO?’ organized by the Circle Foundation.

He underlined that the dialogue between the West and Russia should have started a long time ago but the Russia-NATO Council meetings were disrupted with the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2015.

Kalin said Russia-Ukraine tensions have been building and Turkiye follows these developments “with a lot of concern…because there's a lot at stake here.”

“But first of all, let me just state very clearly that we do not want to see any kind of military action, confrontation or war in Ukraine or between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.

Pointing out that Turkiye fully supports the territorial integrity, political sovereignty and social cohesion of Ukraine, Kalin said “we are telling both sides, both Ukrainians and the Russians, to use restraint, to refrain from any kind of military engagement.”

Kalin said Ukraine’s security concerns should be taken seriously and that “we do not want to see any kind of war, military confrontation or action on the ground.”

He reminded that Ukrainians “have paid a price…by losing Crimea, (through) the illegal annexation of Crimea, which we all have denounced and not accepted.”

“What kind of demands are out there to redefine or to maintain the geopolitical parameters of the current state of affairs?” Kalin said.

“I believe…they are just at the beginning of a new type of negotiation, or the conversation is like a serious one, a genuine one, not one in, say, Russia and a certain number of countries, but between Russia and the Western allies, particularly of course, NATO. But also there are other non-NATO members in Europe who are rightly concerned about what's happening there.

“So I think we are at the very beginning of this new process. So we really have to take kind of a longer view of what may happen, say, you know, this year or the next couple of years.”

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