Ukraine works with Turkey and includes parallel ties with Russia, says Ukrainian diplomat

Turkish and Ukrainian flags wave during a welcoming ceremony for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan before his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in kyiv, Ukraine February 3, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential News Service/Handout via REUTERS

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ISTANBUL, April 16 (Reuters) – Ukraine is working as much as possible with NATO member Turkey for more support for the Russian invasion and understands – even if not satisfied – the reality of the ties parallels between Ankara and Moscow, said a Ukrainian diplomat.

Ankara criticized the invasion and sold drones to kyiv despite Russian objections. But he also opposed Western sanctions on Moscow and maintained cautious rhetoric in refraining from blaming either country for the conflict, even amid reports of war crimes in some parts of Ukraine.

“We would be happy if Turkey joined the sanctions” and cut flights from Russia. “But we understand this reality,” the diplomat told foreign reporters on Friday on condition of anonymity.

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“…Instead of criticizing Turkey, we work as much as possible with the Turkish side, and we don’t demand anything improbable,” the person added, noting that it was still the only country that had managed to bring Russians and Ukrainians closer together. officials for the peace talks.

Turkey, which relies heavily on energy imports and Russian tourists, has become a safe haven for Russians fleeing the fallout from sanctions, and many have invested in Turkish property. Read more

The diplomat cited data showing that more than 100,000 Russians had arrived in Turkey and applied for residence documents since the start of the war. However, during the same period, some 85,000 Ukrainians also arrived, of whom around 47,000 have since left for other countries or returned home, the person said.

Turkey has also banned some Russian warships from transiting through its strait to the Black Sea, thus “saving” the Ukrainian coastal city of Odessa, which resisted Russian attacks, the diplomat said. Read more

Some Russian ships are still in transit and could bring supplies from Syrian waters, the diplomat said, adding, “We ask the Turkish side to monitor what they are bringing from Syria to Russia.”

Turkey opposes Russia’s policies in Syria and Libya and its 2014 annexation of Crimea, but bought Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, for which Ankara was hit with US sanctions in December 2020 .

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Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Tuvan Gumrukcun and John Stonestreet

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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