Turkey Not to Sanction Russia to Maintain its Policy of Balance

Turkish minister Cavusoglu also raised the question of whether the sanctions against Russia will be lifted in the event that the Kremlin withdraws its soldiers from Ukraine.

On Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Turkey will not join the sanctions of the European Union against Russia and will only apply the sanctions determined by the United Nations.

“We follow a balanced policy based on the international law and principles. We apply the UN sanctions,” Cavusoglu said when asked if Western allies are pressuring Turkey to join the sanctions.

“Sometimes I am asked whether we would close our airspace. We close the airspace to military aircraft, but we keep it open for civilians. Most Western allies understand and respect our position,” he said.

Cavusoglu warned that the recent developments in the Ukrainian conflict have changed the positive atmosphere about a possible diplomatic solution that was generated after the Russian-Ukrainian contacts in Turkey at the end of March.

He also pointed out that the “Cold War” atmosphere will deepen and polarization will become more acute if the military conflict continues. However, Cavusoglu stated that his country will continue in contact with both parties and expressed his “cautious optimism” that a ceasefire and a summit between presidents Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky will be possible.

If there is a truce, he said, it should be in the next few days, since “it will be much more difficult” if fighting intensifies in the Donbas region, where Russia has concentrated its troops.

Cavusoglu also raised the question of whether the sanctions against Russia will be lifted in the event that the Kremlin withdraws its soldiers from Ukraine.

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