Turkey promises to support Ukraine in its standoff with Russia

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu promised Ukraine to continue cooperation in the face of confrontation with Russia, which, according to him, has reached a "dangerous" level.

"Turkey will not ignore its principles and shut down relations with Ukraine simply because we have extensive ties with Russia. We will do what the national spirit requires and what is necessary for our security," Cavusoglu said, speaking at a virtual conference organized by the Turkish Association for International Relations.

He recalled that Turkey has the second largest army in NATO after the United States and plays an active role in the missions and operations of the Alliance.

“The security situation in the world is becoming increasingly fragile: the system established after the Second World War has not changed for 80 years. So it is becoming increasingly difficult for it to find solutions to problems, including through  the UN mechanisms,” said Cavusoglu.

NATO is trying to adapt to new conditions, while "the inviolability of transatlantic security is our fundamental principle," the Foreign Minister emphasized. adding that Turkey will pursue a "proactive foreign policy" based on a wide geography.

Turkey, which does not recognize the annexation of Crimea, is currently preparing to sell Ukraine a new shipment of Bayraktar TB2 attack drones. These drones are believed to have helped Azerbaijani army to achieve victory in the war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. This October, Kyiv used Bayraktar TB2 for the first time in combat in the Donbas.

According to Bloomberg, Ankara and Kyiv are working on a contract for the supply of at least two dozen more drones, as well as missiles for them and ground control stations.

Bayraktar is a medium-altitude attack drone. It can stay in the air for up to 12 hours and carry up to four missiles. The drones are controlled from a distance of up to 150 km from the ground-based stations.

Ukraine’s use of Turkish drones in the Donbas caused anger in the Kremlin. During a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the use of Bayraktar drones by Ukraine a "provocation" showing that Kyiv was going to disrupt the Minsk agreements.

In April, Erdogan said that he supports Ukraine's accession to NATO and will maintain a course for strategic cooperation with Ukraine.

"We stand for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We confirmed our fundamental decision not to recognize the annexation of Crimea," he said after a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, adding that he also supports the "Crimean Platform" - Kyiv's initiative to involve the international community in solving the problem of the peninsula.

  Turkey, Ukraine, Russia

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