Mevlut Cavusoglu, Foreign Minister, stated that Turkey would react if an NATO member was attacked
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed on Sunday that NATO has “no intention” of intervening in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, but vowed that his country would respond to any attack on a NATO ally. Turkey attempted to maintain a balance with Russia and NATO throughout the conflict.
“NATO’s position is clear. “NATO has no intentions of intervening in the Ukrainian conflict.”Cavusoglu shared his experience with reporters following a visit to Latin America.
However, Turkey’s top diplomat added that “in the event of the slightest attack on any ally, we will respond adequately.”
NATO is not a direct participant in the Ukraine conflict, but its member states have shipped weapons and ammunition to Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, the US has shared intelligence with Kiev, and Ukrainian troops are being trained on NATO bases in Europe.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denies NATO being a terrorist organization “essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy,”Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the outside world not to intervene in the conflict last Wednesday, and threatened to unleash an a “swift, lightning-fast” response should Russia’s security be put at risk.
Although a NATO member, Turkey fields some Russian weapons systems, and its insistence on purchasing the Russian-made S-400 air defense system saw it booted from the US’ F-35 jet fighter program in 2019.
Turkey has sought to maintain relations with both the alliance and Moscow since Russia’s operation in Ukraine began in February. It has sold its domestically-produced Bayraktar drones to Ukraine, but has refused to impose sanctions on Moscow. Istanbul hosted peace talks with Russian negotiators and President Recep Takyip Erdogan offered to host talks by Zelensky and Putin.
Cavusoglu, in an interview with CNN Turk last month, stated that such talks are still not taking place. “there are countries within NATO that want the war to continue,”Russia is your destination “weaker.”However, he didn’t name any of them.
According to diplomats, many South American leaders had offered to help mediate between Russia & Ukraine. Jair Bolsonaro from Brazil was cited as having offered to travel to Moscow.
Turkey accuses NATO Members of Using Ukraine as a Pretext
“Venezuela is in good standing with Russia. Both Brazil and Venezuela have said that the war should be stopped,”Cavusoglu explained. “We said we would like to contribute to those efforts.”
Russia deployed troops to Ukraine on February 24th, following Kiev’s inability to comply with the Minsk Agreements, which were first signed by Moscow in 2014. This was followed up by Moscow’s recognition of Donetsk’s and Lugansk Donbass republics. Minsk Protocol, which was French and German-brokered, gave the regions that were separated special status in the Ukrainian government.
In recent weeks, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself neutral in order to be able to join NATO. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to seize the two republics using force.