Turkey says working to bring Putin, Zelensky together

Turkey says working to bring Putin, Zelensky together
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Turkish FM Cavusoglu said Russian and Ukrainian presidents should turn to negotiations in order to achieve a ceasefire

Turkey is intensifying efforts to end the Russian-Ukrainian war as soon as possible, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

In order to achieve this goal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to have meetings with both Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cavusoglu said in a press briefing in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday. 

“The aim is to bring both leaders together and to ensure that decisions are taken at the leaders level," he said, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“The war has no winner. When both parties truly realize this, they are more likely to return to the negotiating table," Turkish foreign minister said.

Turkey maintaining good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, has stepped up as a mediator between the two countries since the beginning of the war in late February. Ankara has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but opposed Western sanctions against Moscow over the war.

Turkey continues its dialogue and relations with both Russia and Ukraine as part of its balancing policy, Cavusoglu said.

“Putin says that he is ready to meet with Zelensky in his every meeting with President Erdogan. The Ukrainian side has repeatedly expressed its desire to return to the negotiations as well. But as the war drags on, things get more complex,” he said. 

“There are new realities on the field. There are difficulties for both sides. There are sensitive issues especially for Ukraine because the occupied territories belong to Ukraine. And of course, the parties do not want to get to the negotiation table at a weak position,” Cavusoglu said.

"There must be a just peace. Especially for Ukraine,” he said.

However there are some powers, especially in the West that want the war to continue, according to Turkish top diplomat.

“Powers who act with the idea that ‘if the war continues, Russia will be strategically defeated or at least will get weaker’, need to be convinced,” Cavusoglu said.

Emphasizing that it will be beneficial for everyone to end the war as soon as possible, Çavuşoglu said that Turkey has not lost hope on that.