Russia’s war against Ukraine is unjustifiable, Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakcı said on Tuesday, underlining that “it is a serious violation of international law.”
Speaking during a reception held by the Polish and Lithuanian embassies in the capital Ankara to mark May 3, 1791, Constitution Day, Kaymakcı said: “Unfortunately, this year we have witnessed a major attack on European peace and stability.”
“We have stood by Ukraine from day one. We have been seeking ways of bringing an end to the war,” he said, adding that Turkey will continue to try to facilitate negotiations.
“Overall, we will continue on this path so that a sovereign and independent Ukraine takes its rightful place among the peaceful nations of Europe.”
NATO member Turkey shares a sea border with both Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea and has been working to mediate between the warring sides. It has supported Kyiv but refused to impose sanctions on Moscow.
Kaymakcı also highlighted that Turkey is currently working with the United Nations to mitigate the negative consequences of the war on global food needs.
At the request of the United Nations, Turkey has offered to escort maritime convoys from Ukrainian ports along a security corridor to ship Ukrainian grain – cereals and wheat in particular – blocked in the war-torn country’s ports. Turkey has volunteered its services despite the presence of naval mines, some of which have been detected near the Turkish coast.
The reception started with the national anthems of Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Turkey, which were played by valuable musicians Yevgienij Kostrytskyy from Ukraine and Rustam Rahmedov from Turkmenistan. The anthems were followed by speeches by Poland’s Charge d’Affaires Robert Trzeciak, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Turkey Ricardas Degutis, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar, who was the special guest of the program, and Kaymakcı.
On May 3, 1791, parliamentarians from the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth adopted the May 3 Constitution to redress political defects. This modern legislation was the world’s second written constitution after the American one and Europe’s first.
It was adopted to ensure more freedom and political equality on its territory and introduce the constitutional monarchy system.
Speaking on bilateral ties with Poland, Kaymakcı said that relations date back 600 years and have been at the strategic partnership level since 2009.
He drew attention to the frequent high-level contact between the countries, including Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Turkey in March and Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau’s visit last month. The trade volume between Turkey and Poland is approaching the $10 billion target, I have indicated.
On ties with Lithuania, Kaymakcı said that last year the two countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.
He underlined that Turkey never recognized the Soviet occupation and the subsequent annexation of Lithuania after World War II.
“We were one of the strongest advocates of Lithuania’s accession to NATO,” he said further, adding that Ankara appreciates both Poland and Lithuania’s support in Turkey’s EU membership process.