What are the motives of the Turkish President's trip to Ukraine
The tripartite meeting scheduled for Thursday between Presidents Erdogan and Zelensky, as well as UN Secretary General Guterres, against the backdrop of frequent visits by Western politicians to Ukraine, looks like a kind of exotic. But exotic, capable of theoretically bringing something new to the difficult situation with the Ukrainian crisis. Is this true and what can we really expect from this meeting? /entities/2022/08/17/14/articles/detailPicture/17/6a/40/ae/cd5ba20b7048f9a05be21629c2934f2a.jpg” height=”412″ width=”550″ />
Photo: Global Look Press
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary General António Guterres are expected to meet in Lviv on August 18.
The Erdogan administration confirmed the information about the meeting, specifying that it will discuss steps to end the conflict in Ukraine. It was noted that the path implies the resolution of the crisis “by diplomatic means, by activating the mechanism created to export Ukrainian grain to world markets.” Recall that on July 22 in Istanbul, with the participation of Turkey and the UN, an agreement was signed opening the way for the export of 22 million tons of corn and other grains stuck in the Black Sea ports of Ukraine.
It is assumed that after a trilateral meeting in Lviv, the head The UN will leave for Odessa on Friday, and on Saturday – and to Istanbul to visit the center coordinating the Black Sea transportation, which includes the four parties to the deal — Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations.
Stéphane Dujarric, a representative of the UN Secretary General, said on Tuesday that he has no doubt that the participants in the tripartite talks will also discuss the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, as well as the investigation into the shelling of the colony in Yelenovka, where Ukrainian prisoners were kept.
– The talks may focus on specific issues related to the food deal, – explains the first vice president of the “Center for Political Technologies” Alexey Makarkin. – There is absolutely no way out to solve any other problems, to broader negotiations directly related to the special military operation. Maybe the same Guterres will want to directly clarify Zelensky's position, but it is, in general, known. Therefore, I do not think that anything very big, any big results can be expected from this meeting.
Erdogan, known for his wayward character and his own vision of any situation, can bring something special to the Lviv rendezvous. However, our expert sees the participation of the Turkish President as another move in Erdogan's strengthening of the status of a skilled negotiator: “As for Erdogan, it is important for him to demonstrate that he is a successful mediator. He is one of the few politicians who can communicate with the presidents of both Russia and Ukraine.
– Western politicians are coming to unequivocally support Zelensky. Erdogan, on the other hand, is striving to maintain the status of an intermediary, – Alexey Makarkin explains. – Therefore, he will not directly support Zelensky.
Ankara is playing a rather cautious game here. On the one hand, Bayraktars are supplied to Ukraine. On the other hand, Turkey has not joined the sanctions against Russia.
Erdogan will not do anything that would cause the termination of his role as an intermediary. There is already the experience of Switzerland, when Zelensky asked her to represent the interests of Ukraine in Russia. Switzerland agreed with this, but Russia refused, saying that Switzerland is no longer an objective party, since it has joined the anti-Russian sanctions and supports Ukraine. Therefore, Erdogan will be quite careful here.
At the same time, Russia is also not interested in going into conflict with Turkey. However, Ukraine is also not interested in this. I think that everything will continue.
Another thing is that Erdogan's mediation is already on a larger scale. He does not set any global goals for himself, it is important for him that he can talk to both parties and that he already has experience of success associated with a food deal.