Ankara is ready to push for “local ceasefires” in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Saturday.
While neither side of the conflict can achieve a decisive victory on the battlefield, prospects of coming to an “overarching peace deal” are rather slim, Kalin admitted, insisting that smaller-scale steps may pave the way for peace.
“Türkiye is willing to push for local ceasefires and small localized de-escalations,” Kalin told reporters.
It was not immediately clear, however, how exactly such ceasefires might materialize, given Kiev’s refusal to engage into any negotiations with Moscow. Last week, Russia unilaterally announced a truce, enabling local Christians to celebrate Orthodox Christmas, with the ceasefire rejected by Ukrainian authorities and denounced as a ruse.
A lasting peace in Ukraine, however, may be achieved only through comprehensive negotiations between Russia and the West, Kalin admitted.
“What Russia wants is to be respected as a major player and to [avoid] having NATO in their backyard. Russia is interested in a new international architecture, security guarantees,” he said.
Moscow has repeatedly signaled its readiness for peace talks, stressing it would prefer them to the continuing hostilities and accusing Ukraine of a lack of engagement.
“Under the circumstances, in which Westerners are apparently not prone to allowing Kiev to show any flexibility on the issue, we cannot say that there is any potential [for negotiations] at the moment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week.
Ankara, for its part, has been striving to become the mediator in the conflict, maintaining its ties with both Kiev and Moscow and refusing to join the multiple waves of anti-Russian sanctions, imposed by the Western nations. Early into the ongoing hostilities, Türkiye hosted direct talks between the sides, yet the negotiations ultimately flopped and yielded no tangible result.