NATO allies want longer Ukraine war to weaken Moscow: Turkey

Talks appear to have stalled after the last face-to-face meeting in Istanbul last month


AFP April 21, 2022
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a joint news conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, Greece, May 31, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

Turkey on Wednesday accused some of its NATO allies of wanting the war in Ukraine to last longer in order to weaken Russia.

"There are countries within NATO who want the war to continue," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Turk in an interview.

"They want Russia to become weaker," Cavusoglu said, as talks between Ukrainians and Russians appear to have stalled after the last face-to-face meeting in Istanbul last month. They had been due to continue online.

He did not name any country directly.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Ukrainians were "withdrawing from what there have already been agreements on".

Also read: Zelensky says war could be shortened if more weapons delivered to Ukraine

NATO member Turkey has supplied Ukraine with combat drones, but has shied away from slapping sanctions on Russia alongside Western allies.

But since Ankara enjoys good relations with Kyiv and Moscow, it has been mediating for an end to the conflict and offered to host a leaders' summit.

Turkey has twice hosted direct negotiations between the two sides, on March 10 between the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers in the southern city of Antalya and on March 29 between the two sides' negotiators in Istanbul.

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