Russia and the West? No difference in my eyes, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday.
“To the extent the West is reliable, Russia is equally reliable. For the last 50 years, we have been waiting at the doorstep of the EU, and, at this moment in time, I trust Russia just as much as I trust the West,” Erdoğan — whose country is a member of the NATO transatlantic military alliance — said in an interview.
Erdoğan’s comments on the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) followed a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Black Sea grain deal, which Putin exited in July amid his long-running lethal onslaught against Ukraine.
“Russia happens to be one of my closest neighbors. And we have a common history,” the Turkish president added.
Good political relations — with the EU, the U.S. or Russia — are based on “win-win” calculations for Ankara and therefore, Erdoğan added, he will continue to foster them all.
Last week, Erdoğan threatened to part ways with the EU, after a European Parliament report argued that Ankara’s accession to the bloc — stalled for decades — must be halted due to the country’s human rights and rule-of-law record.
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