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1 Mar, 2023 16:20

Turkish FM speaks out on sanctioning Russia over Ukraine 

Ankara only supports UN-backed restrictions, Mevlut Cavusoglu says 
Turkish FM speaks out on sanctioning Russia over Ukraine 

Türkiye will not be joining unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the conflict in Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu was asked how long Ankara would be able to resist pressure from the US and its allies to put restrictions on Moscow ahead of talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in India’s capital New Delhi.

“We don't need to resist anyone, we make our own decisions as a sovereign state. We don't join any unilateral sanctions. We support only those [restrictions that are] introduced with the backing of the UN,” the foreign minister replied, as cited by the media.

“It’s not just about Russia, but we also don’t support sanctions against Iran or any other country,” Cavusoglu pointed out, adding that “no one can put pressure” on Türkiye.

India, which chairs the G20 this year, is hosting the summit of foreign ministers on Wednesday and Thursday.

An Indian foreign ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday that New Delhi didn’t want the conflict in Ukraine to dominate the discussions at the event, but acknowledged that it would likely be among the top issues on the agenda. The host nation’s “intention [is] to continue playing the voice of the Global South [Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania] and raising issues pertinent to the region,” the official said.

High-ranking Indian diplomat Vinay Kwatra told reporters that “questions relating to food, energy and fertilizer security, [and] the impact that the conflict has on these economic challenges that we face” will be among those to receive “due focus” in New Delhi.

However, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who is a stalwart supporter of Kiev, insisted that India should use the G20 gathering to “make Russia understand that this war has to finish.”  According to Borrell, the “success” of the whole meeting “will be measured in respect to what we will be able to do on that.” 

An EU source said separately the EU delegation in New Delhi won’t support the final statement as a result of the summit if it doesn’t include condemnation of Russia’s conduct in Ukraine, Reuters reported.