US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Ibrahim Kalin, chief adviser to the president of Turkey, spoke on Tuesday and discussed their commitment to “deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement.
Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber said Kalin told Sullivan that Turkey would provide “all forms of support” to resolving the Ukraine crisis and a Thursday visit there by Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan would “contribute to solving the issue with diplomacy”.
Turkey offered in November to mediate in the crisis. Diplomatic sources said last month both Russia and Ukraine were open to the idea of Ankara helping.
Turkey is a maritime neighbor of both Ukraine and Russia, in the Black Sea, and has good ties with both. It has called on them to avoid any military conflict and warned Russia that an invasion of Ukraine would be unwise.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of deliberately creating a scenario designed to lure it into war and ignoring Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine.
TRT Haber said Kalin and Sullivan had also discussed talks between Turkey and Armenia to normalise ties after decades of animosity.
Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been strained over a host of issues in recent years, including Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems and policy differences in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean.
The allies have agreed to put aside differences and focus on areas of cooperation but that has yielded little public improvement. [Reuters]