Erdogan says Turkey cannot abandon ties with Russia or Ukraine

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President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday repeated that Turkey could not abandon its ties with Russia or Ukraine, amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, adding Ankara would implement a pact on passage from its straits to prevent an escalation of the war.

NATO ally Turkey on Sunday called Russia’s invasion a “war”, allowing it to invoke articles under a 1936 international accord that will limit the passage of some Russian vessels from Turkish straits. Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia and has good ties with both.

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Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan criticised what he called the “indecisive” stance by the United States and Western powers to Ukraine’s invasion, saying the approach was a sign of a failing international order.

He said Turkey would not compromise from its commitments to its alliances, including NATO, but that it could also not turn back on “national interests” in its region. He repeated that he found the Russian invasion unacceptable.

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