Italy hails Turkey’s peacemaking efforts in Russia-Ukraine standoff
By News Center
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has said that Turkey is the country that works the hardest for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war, Yeni Shafak newspaper has reported.
Stating that the European Union (EU) should encourage a peace conference, Di Maio said: "We need to promote a peace conference before the ceasefire. The country that works the hardest for peace is Turkey, which can talk to both sides."
In a remark on a radio channel on Russia's war against Ukraine and the recent events, Maio said that while the parties opposed it, they should endeavor to speed up dialogue and that diplomacy is the most important element in this regard.
The minister added that despite the bitter quarrels between Italian and Russian officials, there is always an open channel between Rome and Moscow.
Maio stressed that until sanctions are imposed to cut off Russian President Vladimir Putin's financial resources, the Russian leader would continue to fund the war and will not consider sitting at the table with the expectation of winning.
Turkey made a substantial contribution to the progress of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks by setting up a negotiation table in Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace on March 29.
Turkey, via its "constructive neutrality" and "facilitating diplomacy", as perceived by the conflicting parties, has paved the way for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders, following the progress made in the technical negotiations.
When the representatives of both delegations gave the message that a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was possible in principle, everyone's attention was drawn to the following stages.
Six issues have been raised in the talks between Russia and Ukraine. As soon as Turkey noticed that the parties were getting closer in certain articles, it intervened and pushed them to resume face-to-face negotiations.
The parties had prioritized several issues on which they had not yet reached an agreement.
Russia wished to preserve Ukraine's neutrality, i.e. its refusal to join NATO and its refusal to produce nuclear weapons. In turn, Ukraine sought security assurances, and Turkey largely brought these concerns to light through its facilitative diplomacy.
"Tough" issues such as Crimea and Donbas were not discussed and were instead left to the leaders' discretion, increasing the likelihood of a leaders' meeting.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also announced the roadmap of the process to be brought to the leaders' table as "the meeting of the two countries' presidents after the two countries' foreign ministers came together to finalize the common understanding."
The approaches of the parties to the problem will be learned in the coming period, and shuttle diplomacy for mediation will begin.