Ankara should be able to continue dialogue with Russia — defense minister

Ankara must retain the ability to have a full-fledged dialogue with Russia and play the role of mediator between Moscow and Kiev, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in an interview with Britain’s The Financial Times on Monday, reports.

"Someone has to speak with Russia," he said. "Without this dialogue there would be deadlock. We would expect the West to thank our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan]."

He recalled that President Erdogan had acted as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine more than once during the past year, speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin after calls with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to convey Kiev’s messages to Moscow. He also stressed that the Turkey-brokered grain deal could be an example for a possible peace treaty between Russia and Ukraine. He also reiterated the call for "a humanitarian ceasefire."

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