“Russia happens to be one of my closest neighbors. And we have a common history… I have no reason not to trust [Russia]. To the extent the West is reliable, Russia is equally reliable… at this moment in time, I trust Russia just as much as I trust the West,” Erdogan told PBS in an interview.
Asked about how critics look at Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as someone not to be trusted, Erdogan said: “I don’t agree. Half of my natural gas supplies are coming from Russia, which means we have solidarity. We are taking mutual steps forward, and we are cooperating in the field of defense industry as well. We can do these things with Russia.”
As for the war in Ukraine, the Turkish President stated: “It's quite obvious that this war is going to last a long time. And for the war to end as soon as possible, we would like to be very hopeful. And Mr. Putin is actually on the side of ending this war as soon as possible.”
Pressed on how nothing in the battlefield indicated that Putin wanted a quick end for the conflict, Erdogan stressed: “I'm just taking into account the words of the leader. And Mr. Putin is on the side of ending this war as soon as possible. That's what he said. And I believe his remarks.”