Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stressed the necessity of helping the Russian and Ukrainian sides in finding a face-saving way out of the crisis while continuing to put pressure on the side initiating the aggression, noting that the infringement on Ukrainian sovereignty is unacceptable.Last updated: March 27 2022 11:56 PM
He said during a panel discussion on Saturday at the Doha Forum that the Russian and Ukrainian presidents are negotiating important and major issues "under the table", and expressed the hope that they will agree and reach a ceasefire agreement.
Cavusoglu added that Turkey is working as a facilitator to find a solution to this crisis, bringing the two sides together and trying to find a safe exit that saves face.
He pointed out that Ukraine understands that joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) will not happen because many European allies reject its membership and that of Georgia.
Ukraine does not have the luxury of choosing between Europe and Russia, Cavusoglu explained, adding that Ukraine must balance its policy with everyone and have a greater balance in foreign policy, especially with Europe and the West.
The minister added that the Russian-Ukrainian war greatly affects all countries, with energy prices rising in the world.
Therefore, he said, the fighting and bloodshed must stop and a strategy be developed that facilitates reaching an understanding and paving the way for dialogue.
Regarding the S-400 missile system that Turkey purchased from Russia and its impact on its relationship with Nato, he explained it was necessary for Turkey.
Cavusoglu added that as a matter of policy, Turkey would first ask for what they need from their allies, failing which they would buy it from others because Turkey cannot afford to wait for years, especially given the country’s priorities.
Regarding the shocks that have affected the Turkish economy, the minister said that his country has achieved balance in the currency rate and stability.
Additionally, growth reached 11 % last year and exports increased from the previous year, he said, adding that reliance on Russia for gas had dropped from over 50 % to less than 40 % now, a reflection of the diversification of energy sources and increased investment in renewable energy.
Cavusoglu added that Turkey produces nearly 70 % of its defence needs and is working on the production of air defence systems, such as locally produced drones and other alternatives.
He said that over the past 20 years, Turkey has witnessed a significant increase in the level of income per capita, from $3,000 to $10,000.
Cavusoglu added that Turkey is among the G20, and despite the successive crises the world is witnessing, the growth rate during the first quarter reached 5 %.
On Turkey's hosting of Russian investors and traders, the minister explained that Turkey is not among the countries imposing sanctions on Russia, so the Russians are allowed to enter and work in Turkey, provided that the work is legitimate.
Cavusoglu added that Russia is experiencing financial crises like all countries of the world and that the Russian economy has been affected more due to the imposed sanctions.