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Monday, July 15, 2024

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    Over the phone, Turkey’s president and NATO chief debate the latest developments in Russia.

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    According to the Communications Directorate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke by phone on Sunday on the current developments in Russia and Sweden’s NATO membership.

    During the call, it was stated that the cessation of tensions in Russia “prevented the occurrence of irreversible humanitarian tragedies in the Ukrainian field.”

    It was underlined to Stoltenberg that Turkey expects recent developments in Russia will be “a new milestone on the path to a just peace in Ukraine,” according to the statement.

    It was also claimed that “Türkiye maintains its constructive stance regarding Sweden’s membership, but that legislative amendments would be meaningless as long as PKK/PYD/YPG supporters can freely organise demonstrations in this country.”

    Furthermore, it was stated that “the injustices experienced in the context of the F-35s, as well as attempts to link Türkiye’s requests for F-16s with Sweden’s membership, would harm NATO and its security rather than Türkiye.”

    On Friday, the paramilitary Wagner organisation claimed Russian soldiers of targeting its fighters, prompting the group to cross from Ukraine into the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. In response, the Russian Federal Security Service opened a criminal complaint against Wagner for “armed rebellion.” Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned Wagner’s uprising as “treason.”

    Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin later claimed his fighters turned back to avoid bloodshed when they were 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Moscow, while Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he met with the Wagner leader with Putin’s permission, and Prigozhin accepted a de-escalation deal. Prigozhin has often accused the Russian Defence Ministry and Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu of failing to supply the paramilitary group with adequate weapons in recent months.​​​​​​​

    In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union – has killed over 40,000 people, including women, children, and babies.

    Turkish officials have stated that Sweden tolerated and even aided PKK militants on its land, and that any efforts to reverse this must be demonstrated before Sweden joins the alliance.

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