WIND UP: Erdogan Thanks Putin for Coup Support by Offering to “Mediate” Between Ukraine and Russia
Ankara on Saturday reiterated an offer to act as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia in a bid to de-escalate rising tension between the two countries, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“We are ready to play our role to de-escalate tension between the two countries, with whom we maintain good relations,” the agency cited presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın as saying.
Kalın on Saturday recalled that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month proposed to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putinfor Ankara to act as a mediator in the conflict, an offer which was dismissed by Moscow.
This is one hell of a wind-up. The inroads that foreigns are making into the “Russian world” is precisely what is so irksome to Moscow. For Turkey, of all places, to be offering to “mediate” between two Rus’ states is one hell of a way to rub salt into this particular wound.
Erdogan was apparently undeterred by the fact that just the day before Putin reminded him that Kiev is using his drones to kill new Russian citizens in Donbas:
Ukraine is using Turkish-made drones in the conflict zone in the Donbass region, sticking to “destructive” behaviour, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, the Kremlin said.
In a phone call, Putin told Erdogan that Ukrainian forces are carrying out “provocative activity” and are using Turkish-made Bayraktar drones in the conflict zone in a further attempt to undermine Minsk peace accords, the Kremlin said.
Turkey’s communications directorate said on Friday Ukraine was one of the issues which Erdogan discussed with Putin, but did not provide further details.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said Turkey cannot be blamed for Ukraine’s deployment of Turkish-made drones.
In October, Russia accused Ukraine of destabilising the situation after government forces used a Bayraktar TB2 drone to strike a position controlled by Russian-backed separatists.