Duvar English - Reuters
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that reaction from NATO and Western countries to Russia's assault on Ukraine had not been decisive, adding he hoped a NATO summit on Feb. 25 would lead to a more determined approach from the alliance.
"It should not turn into an ordinary flurry of condemnation. NATO should have taken a more decisive step," Erdoğan said after Friday prayers in Istanbul on Feb. 25.
"Rights now, the European Union is only giving plenty of advice to Ukraine. The EU and Western mentalities have not presented a decisive stance. What are they going to do? Are there any steps that they will take? In today's NATO summit, we'll talk about what kind of steps they are taking and will take," Erdoğan said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Europe on Feb. 25 to act more quickly and forcefully in imposing sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine, accusing western allies of politicking as Moscow's forces advanced on Kyiv.
On Feb. 24, Ukraine asked Turkey to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, linking the Mediterranean and Black sea, to Russia under a 1936 pact. But Ankara said on Feb. 25 it could not stop Russian vessels from going into the Black Sea as it had the right to return ships to their bases under the accord.
While forging close cooperation with Russia on defence and energy, Turkey has also sold drones to Ukraine and signed a deal to co-produce more. Ankara also opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya, as well as its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
On Feb. 24, Erdoğan, who previously offered to mediate the crisis, said he was "sincerely saddened" by Moscow's invasion, which he said was a "heavy blow" to regional peace.