Ukraine, Russian bombardment

Turkey asks Russia to stop the ”illegal and unjust” invasion of Ukraine

Erdoğan held an emergency meeting in Ankara after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, which Turkey describes as “unacceptable”.

Turkey called on Russia on Thursday to put an end to the “illegal and unjust” invasion of Ukraine, a large-scale military operation not seen in Europe since the end of World War II and which Ankara describes as “unacceptable”, pointing out that it constitutes a serious violation of international law, and a serious threat to peace and security throughout the world.

“Beyond the end of the Minsk agreements, this attack is a serious violation of international law and constitutes a serious threat to the security of our region and the world,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We call on the Russian Federation to put an immediate end to this unjust and illegal act,” the statement added.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, whose government maintains close relations with Kiev but also good political and economic ties with Moscow, chaired an emergency security meeting in Ankara, a meeting that ended hours later and in which the only topic that was discussed was the Ukraine crisis and the Russian invasion of the country that began this morning.

In addition to condemning the Russian invasion, possible measures to be taken both with Russia and on international platforms to “end the attack that threatens regional and global security” were discussed. The statement issued after the meeting underlines that Turkey “will continue to support the political unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Erdoğan: “It is a blow to peace and stability in Europe”

Erdoğan also addressed the Russian offensive in a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy; subsequently, the Turkish president gave a televised speech in which he reiterated that Turkey supports Ukraine’s struggle for its territorial integrity, and that he considers Russia’s attack a “severe blow” to regional stability and peace, once again calling for a resolution of the crisis through dialogue.

“This event, which we consider contrary to international law, is a serious blow to peace, harmony and stability in Europe,” said Erdoğan, who explained that he had conveyed Turkey’s support for Ukraine in his telephone conversation with Zelenskyy. The Turkish president recalled that Turkey has maritime borders in common with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, for which he considers both countries as friends, and personally said he felt “sincerely saddened” by the conflict.

Turkey’s reaction comes after this morning, by surprise and in the midst of international shock, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military intervention to be launched in Ukraine, a few days after Russia recognised the independence of the pro-Russia separatist regions in Donbas, to the east of Ukraine; this recognition had already unleashed condemnation from the international community and the first sanctions against Moscow. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the largest military offensive in Europe since World War II.