Russia thanks Turkiye for mediation efforts in Russian-Ukrainian negotiations

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova praises Turkiye's 'balanced position'.

Russia thanks Turkiye for mediation efforts in Russian-Ukrainian negotiations

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday her country is "thankful" to Turkiye for its mediation efforts over the Russia-Ukraine war.

At a press briefing in Moscow, Zakharova said Russia is "thankful" to Turkiye "for the mediation role, the mediation efforts that the leadership of this country was ready to provide for the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and the settlement of the situation."

Zakharova noted that compared to the Western line of putting sanctions against Russia, Turkiye has taken "a balanced and independent position," has not joined the restrictive measures, adhered to the Montreux Convention, and kept open its airspace for Russian aviation.

The 1936 convention gives Turkiye the authority to ban warships from the straits during times of war.

She also said that despite differences over Ukraine, neither the Turkish government nor the Turkish people share the Western anti-Russian campaign.

"And with all the nuances," she said, Russia does not share Turkiye's "position on Ukraine, including Crimea, and openly talked about it at the talks, but the Russophobic campaign did not overwhelm either the Turkish government or the people as a whole. Neither the Turkish government nor the Turkish people share the anti-Russian hysteria that is happening in the West."

Ankara's balanced position was among the reasons that led to the organizing of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks in Istanbul, she added.

"We hope that our Turkish partners will help us make the current meeting with the Ukrainian delegation as effective and efficient as possible," the spokeswoman said.

The first day of a new round of two-day peace talks between Russia and Ukraine brokered by Turkiye ended in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Ahead of the talks, Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine as the war has entered its second month.

Russia's war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has met with international outrage, with the EU, US, and the UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,179 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,860 injured, according to estimates by the UN, which cautioned that the true figure is likely far higher.

More than 3.9 million Ukrainians have also fled to several European countries, with millions more displaced inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency.

Hüseyin Demir

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