According to Turkiye’s top diplomat, the two leaders met in Brussels earlier this week.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi during NATO meetings in Brussels on the Ukraine war, “and the main issue was the Eurosam SAMP/T and defense system,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Doha Forum on Saturday.
Eurosam is a French-Italian joint venture. And we signed a letter of intent with Eurosam about eight years ago, but nothing has happened since then. Currently, those two countries are most interested in collaborating in Turkiye to export SAMP/T, an air defense system, to my country,” Cavusoglu explained.
“Our job is to actually have them (Russia and Ukraine) find this face-saving way out,” Cavusoglu said of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“That’s why we’ve been trying to bring them together,” Cavusoglu said, adding that the final decision will be made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Cavusoglu expressed doubts about Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, saying, “I think Ukraine understood that NATO membership will not happen.” It was never going to happen in the first place. Many European allies were also opposed to Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO. As a result, Ukraine fully grasped the situation.”
He stated that Ukraine does not have the luxury of choosing between the West and the East, or Europe and Russia, and that Turkiye and Ukraine, as regional countries, should pursue a balanced foreign policy with all.
On Saturday, the 20th edition of the Doha Forum began in the Qatari capital.
The war between Russia and Ukraine, which began on February 24, has sparked international outrage, with the EU, the United States, and the United Kingdom, among others, imposing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
According to UN estimates, at least 1,035 civilians have been killed and 1,650 injured in Ukraine, though the true figure is likely much higher.
According to the UN refugee agency, more than 3.7 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, with millions more displaced within the country.