Turkey in between Russia and Ukraine on the 1st year anniversary of invasion
In the first year of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Turkey has assumed a 'negotiator' role, especially with the ceasefire talks in Istanbul in March 2022 and the grain corridor agreement signed in July 2022. On the other hand, while Baykar Teknoloji's UAVs and UCAVs are being used in Ukraine, Turkey, which has not joined the sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries, has faced accusations of helping Moscow to circumvent the sanctions.
March 2022: Two summits in Turkey
Russia began to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The first ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine took place on Feb. 28 on the border with Belarus.
Following this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met in Antalya on March 10 at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. Çavuşoğlu made a statement on his social media account after the meeting and said, "At a time when the need for peace is the greatest, we met with my Russian and Ukrainian counterparts Lavrov and Kuleba in a trilateral format at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. We hope that peace will be restored in our region."
May 2022: Suspension of negotiations with Russia
As the Russian invasion raged on, delegations from the two countries held four face-to-face meetings - three in Belarus and one in Turkey - to try to reach a ceasefire.
Then, on March 29, Ukrainian and Russian delegations met at the Presidential Dolmabahçe Working Office in Istanbul.
The Russian delegation said the talks were "constructive" and that it would convey Ukraine's proposals to President Vladimir Putin, while Turkey was among the countries Ukraine wanted as guarantors.
However, after Russian forces withdrew from the capital Kyiv and Bucha, accusations of 'war crimes' were leveled against them, especially over civilian deaths in Bucha, and talks between the two countries broke down.
On May 17, the Ukrainian side issued a statement saying that "the situation in the country has changed so much that they have suspended negotiations with Russia."
June 2022: Towards a grain corridor agreement
In June, the first steps of the grain corridor planned to be established in the Black Sea with the mediation of Turkey and the United Nations (UN) in order to transport grain from Ukrainian ports to the world market were taken.
On June 8, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who arrived in Turkey, met with his counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at the Presidency. The two held a joint press conference after the meeting.