Turkey and U.S. to coordinate on Ukraine war

Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still trying to play both sides of the Russian-Ukrainian war to his own benefit. As you may recall, just last week Turkey closed the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to “all warships,” ostensibly to prevent Russia from sending in more firepower and escalating the war even further. (It turned out to be a meaningless gesture.) Last night we learned that Turkey has been in talks with the U.S. State Department and insists that they are “in close coordination” on the situation in Ukraine. But they’re also saying that they oppose economic sanctions on Russia. Go figure. (US News)

Turkey and the United States will remain in “close coordination” as they work for a diplomatic solution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said after talks between the NATO allies’ deputy foreign ministers on Saturday…

In a statement after talks between Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Ankara, Turkey’s foreign ministry said the allies “confirmed their support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”.

“The importance of remaining in close coordination to manage the multifaceted impacts of the crisis and support a diplomatic solution was emphasized,” it said in a statement, adding the two had also discussed bilateral ties.

I suppose that saying you are working with the Americans on a “diplomatic solution” with the Russians makes for a good headline. But the time for a diplomatic solution was before Putin invaded Ukraine and killed thousands of people and blew up a bunch of apartment buildings, schools, and hospitals. Pardon my potentially throwing cold water on your grandiose plans, but the window for diplomacy closed quite a while ago and is now shattered.

Nobody seems to have any idea what sort of plan Erdogan thinks he can put into play here. He doesn’t hold any real leverage over Russia at this point. And he really shouldn’t have any leverage over the White House, considering what a lousy excuse for an ally he’s been since consolidating his power in Ankara.

Besides, Putin doesn’t really need much of anything from Turkey. Putin only plays up to Erdogan because it’s part of his years-long plan to try to drive wedges between the United States and various NATO members. In the case of Turkey, his efforts have been remarkably successful.

Turkey continues to insist it has good ties with Ukraine and finds the current invasion “unacceptable.” But at the same time, Erdogan doesn’t want to see any military counteraction against Russia and doesn’t even want sanctions imposed on them. Precisely what else is left that Erdogan thinks might actually influence Putin’s bad behavior?

I’m seriously getting closer and closer to supporting the idea of seeing NATO hold a vote to just boot Turkey out of the alliance and let Erdogan go see how he likes life living as one of Russia’s vassal states. And then, since there would be a fresh opening on the NATO roster, perhaps we could find some other country interested in taking their slot. Perhaps a country like… nope. I’m still not going to say it. We’re not at World War 3 stage quite yet, and if there’s a viable way to avoid it without handing Putin everything he wants we should leave the door open for some sort of resolution. And it’s still possible that if Russia’s army completely implodes in the coming days, the point will be moot anyway.

Trending on HotAir Videos