Türkiye is supporting Ukraine in vital issues, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday, adding that the country understands Ankara’s balanced foreign policy.
Speaking during a joint press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Kuleba said he did not believe that Türkiye was pursuing a neutral stance, but rather supporting Ukraine.
“This can be seen from the results of voting at the U.N. in matters relating to Ukraine. Türkiye supports the Ukrainian platform,” he said.
“We treat Türkiye’s foreign policy with understanding. They are cooperating with Ukraine in areas that are important to us, while at the same time conducting economic activities with Russia. Türkiye supports us in vital matters. These are matters of life and death,” Kuleba said further.
Meanwhile, in a phone call, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Erdoğan underscored the need to keep the vision of a diplomatic solution alive, expressing that Ankara is ready to offer any and all necessary contributions to end the war through negotiations, the statement said.
The president also thanked his Zelenskyy for his message of condolence over a recent mine explosion in Türkiye’s northern province of Bartın, which resulted in the death of 41 miners.
For his part, Zelenskyy said the two leaders had continued their “friendly dialogue” in the phone call and that he thanked Erdoğan for Türkiye’s “unshakable support” for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“Noted Türkiye’s special role in the Grain Initiative and its continuation. Ukraine-Türkiye interaction in the security sphere highly appreciated,” he said on Twitter.
Ankara recently warned that Russia and Ukraine were moving away from a diplomatic solution, making the outcomes of a prolonged war even more complicated.
Most recently, Türkiye enabled a prisoner swap between the warring countries. Also, Turkish mediation proved vital in facilitating the signing of a deal between Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul to reopen certain Ukrainian ports to release grain that had been stuck for months because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war – a development that has been crucial in responding to a growing global food crisis.
Türkiye is one of the most active countries working to ensure a permanent cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. Its delicately balanced act of assuming a role as a mediator by keeping communication channels with both warring sides open provides a glimmer of hope in diplomatic efforts to find a solution and achieve peace in the Ukraine crisis. With its unique position of having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Türkiye has won widespread praise for its push to end the war.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, underlining its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions designed to isolate Moscow, it also closed its straits to prevent some Russian vessels from crossing through them.