Updated December 16th, 2022 at 17:29 IST

Erdogan slams EU's Borrell for urging Turkey to sanction Russia over invasion of Ukraine

The Turkish President broke his silence over EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s stance on Turkey joining the West and other nations in sanctioning Russia.

Reported by: Deeksha Sharma
Edited by: Deeksha Sharma
Image: AP | Image:self

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke his silence over European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s stance on Turkey joining other nations in imposing sanctions on Russia as the war in Ukraine escalates even further. Addressing reporters after returning from Turkmenistan, Erdogan said that the top EU diplomat is crossing boundaries and it is not his place to make any decisions on how Ankara wants to deal with Moscow.

"I don't take Borrell as a vis-a-vis. His level could be to talk to our [Foreign Minister] Mevlut Bey [Cavusoglu]. It's an ugly statement. Borrell can’t define and formalize our relations with Russia. He has neither the qualifications nor the ability to make such decisions. Who is he to assess our relations with Russia with respect to sanctions?" said the Turkish president, according to a report by TRT television channel on Thursday. 

Furthermore, he called out Borrell for bringing up such a statement at a time when global leaders are lauding Turkey for the efforts it has made to implement the Istanbul agreements on grain. "While all the leaders of Europe are thanking us, you make statements like that," Erdogan said.

Borrell writes to European Parliament to express concern over Russia-Turkey ties

The Turkish president’s sharp disapproval of Borrell’s stance comes after the latter penned a letter to the European Parliament and said that Turkey is "not joining the EU's restrictive measures against Russia is a growing cause for concern.” According to the German Funke media group, EU foreign policy chief Borrell wrote the letter on behalf of the European Union to urge Turkey to join the West in sanctioning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Another cause of concern for the European Union was Turkey’s policy of "not joining the EU's restrictive measures against Russia," Borell said, adding in the letter that all candidate countries for EU membership “including Turkey" should not give Russia any workarounds and abide by all the measures. 

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks about various facets of bilateral cooperation, including the growth of trade turnover, energy projects, and the grain deal. "The issues of the expanding bilateral cooperation in various fields were discussed in detail. In particular, a record growth of trade turnover was noted. The particular meaning of joint energy projects, mainly in the gas sector, was emphasized,” read a press statement issued by the Kremlin.


Published December 16th, 2022 at 17:29 IST

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