Turkey has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine and has been doing a very good job in terms of efforts for a cease-fire between the two sides, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Borrell told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the EU is unlikely to become a mediator in resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“The Russians would not accept that, just as we Europeans would not accept Russia as a mediator. China cannot be a mediator either, as they leaned towards Russia,” he said.
Borrell underlined the importance of Turkey’s role and its efforts to facilitate peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow.
“Turkey is doing a very good job here. It has good relations with both sides. But of course, the best (mediator) would be the United Nations,” he said.
As Turkey’s diplomatic efforts to end the war between Russia and Ukraine continue, diplomatic sources also stated Wednesday that there may be a meeting within the scope of the humanitarian contact group between Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations.
Noting that the United Nations has made a proposal to establish a humanitarian contact group, sources added: “In the coming days, negotiations between Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations may continue in this context. Technical meetings can be held between the parties.”
Turkey is one of the most active countries working to ensure a permanent cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. Its delicately balanced act of assuming a role as a mediator by keeping communication channels with both warring sides open provides a glimmer of hope in diplomatic efforts to find a solution and achieve peace in the Ukraine crisis. With its unique position of having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Turkey has won widespread praise for its push to end the war.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, underlining its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions designed to isolate Moscow, it also closed its straits to prevent some Russian vessels from crossing through them.
In a breakthrough, Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for peace talks in Istanbul on March 29 as the war entered its second month, with casualties piling up on both sides.
During the talks, Ukrainian officials signaled readiness to negotiate a “neutral status,” a key Russian demand, but demanded security guarantees for their country. Ukraine wants to see countries, including Turkey, as guarantors in a deal with Russia, a Ukrainian negotiator said after the talks. Russia, meanwhile, pledged to significantly decrease its military activities focusing on the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv to build trust for future negotiations.
Turkey also hosted the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Antalya in March.
Turkish officials have also been engaging with their counterparts on the issue of humanitarian corridors in Ukraine to evacuate stranded civilians and wounded persons.