Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday urged Ukraine and Russia to now focus on reaching a cease-fire following the recent deal on a grain export corridor as the war between the two countries is ongoing.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Georgian counterpart Ilia Darchiashvili, Çavuşoğlu underlined that a “fair peace” is needed and that Turkey is ready to host the warring sides with this aim.
“If the grain export deal is successfully implemented, it could really boost confidence between Russia and Ukraine,” Çavuşoğlu added.
Reminding that steps and a coordination center in Istanbul were established to facilitate grain exports, Çavuşoğlu said: “Actually, this is not only a step toward lifting obstacles to food exports.”
Internationally praised for its mediator role, Turkey has coordinated with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa to resume global grain shipments, which have been long stuck due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its sixth month.
“We had engaged in busy efforts before the war, to prevent the war. Similarly, we continued these efforts after the war started, under the leadership our president,” he said.
“For a permanent cease-fire, third countries must also show support. Ultimately, this war will end at the diplomacy table. As Turkey, we will continue to do our best so that the parties return to the diplomacy table as soon as possible,” he continued.
"There is no winner in a war," Çavuşoğlu highlighted.
The Turkish president has been offering to meet the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and bring him and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy together to help resolve heightened global tensions since the war began.
Turkey is one of the most active countries working to ensure a permanent cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. Its delicately balanced act of assuming a role as a mediator by keeping communication channels with both warring sides open provides a glimmer of hope in diplomatic efforts to find a solution and achieve peace in the Ukraine crisis. With its unique position of having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Turkey has won widespread praise for its push to end the war.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, underlining its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions designed to isolate Moscow, it also closed its straits to prevent some Russian vessels from crossing through them.
In a breakthrough, Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for peace talks in Istanbul on March 29 as the war entered its second month, with casualties piling up on both sides.
Turkey also hosted the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Antalya in March and hosted four-way meetings recently in Istanbul between Moscow, Ankara, Kyiv and the United Nations with the aim of solving the grain crisis.