Erdoğan accuses West of “provocation” towards Russia – POLITICO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that the West is being provocative towards Russia.

At a press conference alongside his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić in Belgrade, Erdoğan said: « I can clearly say that I don’t find the attitude of the West [toward Russia] correct », adding that there was a « policy based on provocation ».

Erdoğan also said he did not believe the war in Ukraine would end « anytime soon » and urged countries not to « underestimate Russia ». His remarks came during a visit to Serbia, as part of a tour of the three Balkan countries this week.

So far, Ankara has tried to portray itself as a neutral party in the Russian-Ukrainian war. He held talks with top-level officials in Moscow and Kyiv and brokered a grain deal alongside the UN to ensure safe food exports out of blocked ports from Ukraine.

Turkey has, however, maintained close ties with Russia since the invasion. Ankara has increased its trade with Russia, Turkish banks have adopted a Russian payment system and Turkey is said to have doubled its imports of Russian oil this year.


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