Russia-Turkey relations are once again under the limelight over Ankara’s controversial statement. Two days after reaffirming ties with Moscow, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogl has said that Ankara’s position regarding its non-recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula has not changed.
“We confirmed in Sochi that our position on Crimea will not change,” said the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu while addressing a press conference. He also said: “Our relations with Russia are going positively.”
Russia is also aware of Turkey’s position on Crimea and continues to reaffirm its stance over the same. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov had earlier acknowledged that Crimea is one big difference in the relationship between Moscow and Ankara.
Earlier in December, Cavusoglu had said that Turkey “is willing to support the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula’s return to Ukraine”. His statement had come after the meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba.
Meanwhile, AMN news has quoted the head of one of the committees of the local legislative council in Crimea, Yuri Gimpel, as saying that Turkey has its own vested interests in not recognizing Crimea.
“The Turkish authorities do not officially recognize Crimea’s affiliation with Russia, not because it is in solidarity with Ukraine, which rejects the decision to return the island to Russia, but because it has ambitions in this island,” he told the news website.
However, in spite of the differences with Moscow, Cavusoglu has underlined that the relations between the two countries are headed in a positive direction, which was reflected in the joint statement issued after the meeting with the Russian counterpart on Tuesday.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov had announced that the two sides were going to continue their military cooperation in spite of the threat of US sanctions over the purchase of the S-400 missile system.
Traditionally Moscow and Ankara have been partners but they are currently at odds over several issues such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Syrian conflict, and Libya’s civil war.
The recent engagement between foreign ministers was an attempt to diffuse tensions between the two countries following the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict where Turkey supported Azerbaijan and Russia supported Armenia. Both sides are now monitoring the situation in the conflicted zone, where the ceasefire was brokered by Moscow.