Turkey on Tuesday called for a viable ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible, saying that both sides were moving away from diplomacy as the war has dragged on.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long sought to bring together Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for truce talks in Istanbul.
“A ceasefire must be established as soon as possible. The sooner the better,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised interview.
NATO member Turkey, which has tried to stay neutral since Russia's war in Ukraine, has good ties with its two Black Sea neighbors.
“Unfortunately (both sides) have quickly moved away from diplomacy” since the talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul in March, Cavusoglu said.
“As the Ukraine-Russian war drags on, unfortunately, the situation gets worse and more complicated,” he added.
He also called for a “just peace” based on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
“There must be a just peace for Ukraine. Where is the war going on? It’s going on on Ukrainian soil,” he said.
“A process that will ensure Ukraine's border and territorial integrity should start. Without a ceasefire, it is not possible to talk about those issues in a healthy way: a viable ceasefire and a just peace.”
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