Turkey condemns US over its sanctions on Russia
Turkey does not approve sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU and the US, the country's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, urging both sides to resolve their issues through dialogue and political means.
"Turkey suffered from sanctions a lot in the past. Sanctions against our neighbors and partners caused grave damages on our economy. That’s why when we hear about sanctions we don’t rush into it. We are looking into whether we can find other ways to solve the problems,” Çavuşoğlu told daily Türkiye in an interview.
"That’s why we did not join the sanctions on Russia, and we prefer political engagement and dialogue," Hurriyet Daily cited him as saying.
"Russia and Washington impose sanctions on each other while Brussels is preparing sanctions against the United States as the US sanctions have a negative impact on the EU. We are trying to address all the issues through dialogue in order not to be awash with these developments," Cavusoglu said.
An associate professor of the Faculty of International Relations of the TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Ankara), Togrul Ismail, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Ankara made an important political statement. "Turkey and Russia have common energy projects, the countries are building and will continue to build a regional energy infrastructure in the future. And the latest US sanctions against future Russian pipelines can cause some damage to the Turkish economy. Turkey has not joined either the European sanctions or the previous US sanctions against Russia," he pointed out.
The neutrality of Ankara in the Western's sanctioning struggle against Moscow can be explained. "Russia is a serious economic partner of Turkey, especially in the energy sector, and any sanctions against Russia affect the economy of Turkey in one way or another. Moreover, the new sanctions against Russia will have consequences for the economies of European countries and the countries of the Middle East region, cooperating with Russia. In fact, these sanctions are a problem not only for Russia or Turkey, but for all countries which have economic contacts with Moscow," Togrul Ismail stressed.
The expert does not predict that the US pressure on Ankara will increase after this statement, since it is already high. "There has always been pressure on Turkey to make it join sanctions, and it has been increased lately, as Turkey is trying to pursue an independent policy. It causes some dissatisfaction in the West, and I think it caused the growth of anti-Turkish sentiment in Europe, in particular in Germany. As a matter of fact, certain forces are trying to demonize our states and the improvement of our relations causes concern in the West," the associate professor of the Faculty of International Relations of the TOBB University of Economics and Technology concluded.