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Turkey should not adopt Putin propaganda – EU ambassador

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Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Sochi, Russia September 29, 2021. Sputnik/Vladimir Smirnov/Pool via REUTERS

Turkey must be careful not to take on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, the EU Ambassador to Ankara Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut said.

The country is currently performing a “balancing act”, the diplomat said.

He also expected Turkey to restrict “Russian propaganda channels”.

He hoped that Turkey would not undermine the sanctions Europe had imposed on Russia because of its attack on Ukraine.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said a few days ago his country was keeping its airspace open for Russian flights so Russians from the EU and other countries could still travel.

EU airspace has been closed to Russian aircraft since February 27.

The Turkish government has so far rejected sanctions targeting Russia.

“On one hand, Turkey is clearly on the side of NATO and Ukraine.

“The EU recognises this on the other hand, Ankara has repeatedly criticised the West.

“Turkey will not be able to keep up this balancing act in the long run,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said Europe’s response to the invasion of Ukraine was like a “witch hunt” against Russia’s people, literature and artists.

Turkey is a NATO member and maintains close relations with both Ukraine and Russia.

The country is dependent on Moscow for energy and grain supplies.

In the Ukraine war, Ankara sees itself as a mediator.

Erdoğan has repeatedly stressed that he does not want to give up either partner.

According to experts, the deterioration of relations with Moscow can have dramatic domestic and foreign policy consequences for Turkey.

The country is already in a deep economic crisis.

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