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Scholz to pay first visit to Turkey as Chancellor


Scholz to pay first visit to Turkey as Chancellor

Photo: Odd Andersen/Pool via Reuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz today meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This visit is Scholz’s first since he assumed Germany’s Chancellorship in December 2021. It comes following high-level, Turkish-brokered talks last week between Russia and Ukraine, which both sides claim ended in failure. 

Ukraine demands that Russia withdraw all forces from Ukraine. Russia wants Ukraine to cease military operations, formally promise that it has no plans to join NATO and surrender Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk to Russia. 

Expect Scholz to urge Erdogan to use Turkey’s military and economic ties to both NATO and Russia to continue to position itself as a neutral broker between the warring sides. Turkey is a NATO member state, but it has yet to impose economic sanctions against Russia for the invasion. Similarly, if Turkey closes the straits linking the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, Turkey will deny NATO military access to the latter; yet it has also supplied Ukraine’s armed forces with military drones. Should Turkey continue to act as a neutral broker while leveraging its ties to both sides, expect in the short to medium-term progress toward a ceasefire.  

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