In a sign that some countries willing to tolerate Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are losing patience, Turkey, India and China reacted calmly to the announcement that four Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories would hold a referendum on joining the Russian Federation. were planning.
Turkey, which has been at the center of mediation between the West and Russia, said in a statement that it was concerned by attempts at a unilateral referendum.
“Such illegitimate work will not be recognized by the international community. On the contrary, they will complicate efforts to revive the diplomatic process and deepen instability,” the statement said.
“We renew our support for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine, which we have been insisting on since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and to resolve the ongoing war through peaceful negotiations. All reiterate our readiness to extend necessary support.”
At a briefing in New York, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan said he has always supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Erdoan was blindsided by Vladimir Putin’s mobilization of troops on Wednesday, noting that he said in an interview with the US Public Broadcasting Service on Monday that he was under the impression that his Russian counterpart was in the mood to make concessions. Were.
Reflecting on a recent discussion he had with Putin, he told PBS: “He’s really showing that he’s ready to end this as quickly as possible. That was my impression because of the way things are going.” He’s very problematic.”
Erdoan isn’t the first world leader to end a meeting with Putin on a misleading impression, but Turkey is facing other pressures as well.
The country’s banks are under pressure from mounting US sanctions to secede from Russia. Two private institutions, Denizbank and Isbank, this week suspended use of the Russian payment system Mir after Washington expanded its sanctions on Russia, including targeting the head of the entity that runs Mir. Turkey is never going to be cut off from Russia economically, but trade is as far away as ever.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, who was praised by French President, Emmanuel Macron this week, urged Putin to follow up his comments with concrete action to tell him it was not a time for war. He is going.
India’s refusal to take sides, or Delhi has been too impatient to call juggling balls on a high wire. In mid-March, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki urged the country to consider “where you want to stand when the history books are written”.
India’s foreign minister, S Jaishankar, in a session at Columbia University this week only mentioned Ukraine, but suggested that his country has reimposed its attitude towards the US.
He said, “For almost 50 years, for a variety of reasons – I’m not saying that was our fault, or America’s fault – but the fact was that we treated America with suspicion, with great caution, ” They said. “It was a very important relationship, but the assessment of America’s overall foreign policy was one of deep caution, if not deep skepticism.
“It has taken a lot of effort for us to dispel earlier assumptions to have a different relationship with the US and one of the major differences that PM Modi has created… in a certain worldview that fundamentally distances you from America. ,
This is reflected in India’s approach towards Ukraine, where it has taken small steps towards neutrality. It consistently refers to respecting the United Nations Charter, condemning war crimes committed in Buka and voting to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the UN Security Council by video link.
China is hard to break into, and its often opaque statements are open to conflicting interpretations. It may still think that its alliance with Russia is necessary to keep Washington under control, but statements from a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman this week may have backed Putin’s gamble.
A former British foreign minister said Russia maintains deep ties with countries around the world, which are still ready to back down against the West and find excuses for Moscow’s actions.
Regarding the neutral camp, he said: “I think they will have extra defense against Russian defeat, so they should be open to Western engagement. It is clear that now Russia cannot win, but it is clearly worth losing.” not quite the same.