Turkey won't join sanctions against Russia - Erdogan's Spokesperson
Turkey restates its stance against sanctioning Russia in order to protect its economy.
Turkey will not join sanctions against Russia for economic reasons, according to Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin on Sunday.
"We have stated that we will not join the sanctions. Because it comes from our economic advantage, we are dependent on external energy sources. We have openly declared our position to the West, there is an understanding. The sanctions against Russia will hit, first of all, the Turkish economy, we certainly do not want that," Kalin said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haberturk.
Kalin also stated that Turkey receives requests from the West regarding the need for sanctions against Russia on a regular basis, but Ankara maintains its position.
"There is no systematic pressure, but periodically there are such requests. But as I said, we can't do that, because it would hit our economy first of all. On the other hand, there is our intermediary role, because everything goes through Turkey," Kalin said.
Kalin went on to say that Russia's actions in Ukraine are not coincidental, as they were preceded by NATO and Western actions.
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In a similar statement, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's Foreign Minister, said in April that it would be unrealistic for his country to join in sanctions against Russia.
"We keep an eye on the UN sanctions, we comply with them. But in terms of joining the sanctions imposed by individual states, I think, they themselves understand that in light of Turkey’s position as a mediator it is not realistic," Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkey's NTV channel.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey's Western allies often ask it about the reasons behind its position, to which he replies that Turkey's role as a mediator necessitates this position.
"We are often asked if we are going to close the sky. You know, Turkey holds the position of an intermediary, aimed at stabilizing the situation," the top diplomat said.