Turkey is growing cautious about delivering more weapons to Ukraine, after Turkish-made drones helped Kyiv’s defense against Russia’s invasion, the president of Turkey’s Defense Industry Agency told the Wall Street Journal.
“Turkey is the only country I guess that can give a call to both parties and call them to the peace table. How can you do this if you send tens of thousands of weapons to one side?” said Ismail Demir, the president of Turkey’s Defense Industry Agency and a top official in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
He added: “We have to be able to talk to both sides, someone should be close enough to both parties, to build trust. Our priority is to make sure that peace prevails.”
As for whether Turkey will continue delivering Bayraktar TB-2 drones to Ukraine, Demir said: “There are things going on, but I’m not in a position to say, but we are much more careful.”
Turkey shares a maritime border with both Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with the two countries. Ankara has tried to remain as neutral as possible since the onset of the conflict.
It hosted discussions between Ukrainian and Russian delegations, and is working on bringing the presidents of both countries together for peace talks.
While supporting Kyiv and criticizing Moscow’s invasion, Ankara rejected joining the West’s sanctions on Moscow.