Josep Borrell, Senior Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy, answered the question of Bouchra Arsrantash of CNNTÜRK at the Antalia Foreign and Security Forum. Borel noted Turkey’s role in Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine crisis and made an important message on Turkey’s EU relations.
The highlights of Josep Borrell’s remarks are:
We do not intervene in the army
* A new chapter has been opened in world history. Once again, there is a war in Europe. The result of isolation against Russia. Our sanctions cause enormous financial damage. Meanwhile, Putin is trying to destroy Ukraine. It causes civilian casualties and even attacks hospitals. This is how Putin fights. Remember Aleppo, remember Grozny. I can’t win. Despite the two-week war, Russian troops cannot break the resistance of the Ukrainian people.
class = “medianet-inline-adv”>
* Of course, we will not intervene in the military. We don’t want the war to spread, but we have to support them. Of course, there is no military intervention. We don’t want the war to spread, but we have to support them. We must hurt their economy so that they cannot continue the war.
Zelensky’s words “If we fall, Europe will fall” …
* Ukraine demanded membership and we immediately responded positively. Yes, we said Ukraine belongs to a European family. This is a geographically and historically obvious fact. There are several steps. This process has also started.
“No one makes excuses for Putin.”
* Everyone is trying to achieve a difficult balance. On the one hand, we are trying to support Ukraine, but on the other hand, we are trying to prevent a bigger war. Don’t make excuses for Putin. Because it can expand military activities. It may oppose one NATO country or another. I have serious concerns. Putin continues to attack and now needs to limit the attack. We must isolate Russia from the international community and support Ukraine.
class = “medianet-inline-adv”>
“Turkey plays an important role”
* Turkey plays a very important role. My expectation is that Turkey will continue to play this role. The first step was to gather ministers here. I know there was no result. I didn’t expect it to end at the first meeting anyway. This was the first step. Turkey is a regional power and more than that. He has influence in both Russia and Ukraine. It is an EU candidate country. It has a very strong relationship with the EU. Now we have to reach a ceasefire. People are dying from hunger, cold and bombs. If this ceasefire is delayed, more people will die. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees. This ceasefire must be reached as soon as possible.
Turkey’s EU accession process
* There was a problem with Turkey’s EU process. The EU is ready to overcome these obstacles. Just as we are now opening the door to those fleeing Ukraine, Turkey is opening the door to those fleeing Syria. You are a Syrian neighbor, we are a Ukrainian neighbor. Being a Ukrainian neighbor, he behaves like this. You acted that way because you are a Syrian neighbor. We have a very serious agreement with Ukraine. We have been supporting them since Russia annexed Crimean. We gave them 40 million euros. Because it is a country that needs support.
Meeting with Minister ÇAVUŞOĞLU
* We talked about the Ukrainian War. We also discussed bilateral relations. These relationships have also improved. It wasn’t very good a year ago. There are changes on both sides. We agreed on how important the issues of commonality are. You should do it like this. Turkey was a problem for us in the first year I took office. This year Turkey is no longer a problem. They greatly help us in the Ukrainian crisis. This shows that we need to work more with Turkey. This is the most improved relationship in recent years. There are officially two different worlds between Trump and the Biden government. During this crisis, transatlantic relations showed their strength. This was Putin’s biggest mistake. Putin thought the United States was doing business with China and he didn’t care about the EU.