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Turkey Says It Will Not Impose Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

  Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu   told   reporters on Sunday that Ankara “will not join the sanctions some Western countries hav...

 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Sunday that Ankara “will not join the sanctions some Western countries have imposed on Russia” over its latest war with Ukraine, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported.

Asked by reporters at a diplomatic forum in Antalya, Turkey, on March 13 about the Turkish government’s “stance regarding sanctions against Russia,” Cavusoglu responded. “We believe that the sanctions will not resolve the problem.”

Cavusoglu spoke at a press conference held at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. The annual summit took place this year from March 11 to March 13 and included the attendance of “2000 guests comprising Heads of State and Governments, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high-level representatives of the International Organizations,” according to the summit’s official website.

The forum aims to provide a platform for “regional and global actors from the spheres of diplomacy, policy, and business to exchange ideas and address international challenges.”

Cavusoglu previously stated on March 1, Turkey’s government had “no intention” of imposing sanctions on Russia in response to its military invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“As a principle, we didn’t participate in such sanctions in a general sense. We have no intention of joining in these sanctions, either,” he told the Turkish TV news channel Haberturk in an interview.

“We don’t have to take sides in war; on the contrary, we are a country that can establish an equal dialogue with both sides to end it. We can’t afford to take sides,” the Turkish foreign minister added.

Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), though it has set itself apart from most NATO member states and partners by refusing to join the U.S.-led alliance in imposing financial sanctions on Russia since February 24. The U.S. government has led a global effort to punish Moscow over its latest war with Ukraine through wide-reaching economic sanctions.

Turkey’s relationship with Russia and Ukraine is largely facilitated by the Black Sea, which connects all three nations. Turkey’s government announced on February 28 it would invoke certain articles of a 1936 international pact called the Montreux Convention to allow Ankara to limit the transit of naval vessels between the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits. The two straits, also known as the Turkish Straits, separate the Black Sea from the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

The articles of the Montreux Convention invoked by Ankara on February 28 permit Turkey’s government to “limit naval transit of its Dardanelles and Bosporus straits during wartime, or if threatened.”

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