Cavushoglu, Stoltenberg hold phone call ahead of critical NATO talks

Türkiye Materials 6 January 2022 03:24 (UTC +04:00)
Cavushoglu, Stoltenberg hold phone call ahead of critical NATO talks

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavushoglu held a phone call Wednesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg,

According to the Foreign Ministry, Cavushoglu and Stoltenberg exchanged views ahead of the NATO foreign ministers' meeting and the NATO-Russia Council meeting.

Stoltenberg announced on Tuesday that the NATO-Russia Council meeting will be held on Jan. 12.

"I've convened NATO-Russia Council meeting on Jan 12 to discuss issues related to European security, esp the situation in/around Ukraine & issues related to mil activities, reciprocal transparency & risk reduction. An agenda for meaningful dialogue in the interest of all of us," Stoltenberg said.

Most recently, Cavushoglu and his United States counterpart Antony Blinken on Monday held a phone call and discussed the ongoing Russia-Ukraine tensions.

"Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Cavushoglu discussed the importance of continued coordination regarding the threat of Russian escalation in Ukraine," U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

The phone talk came as the U.S. and Russia are set to hold talks regarding the tensions near the Ukrainian border next week. The talks are followed by a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Jan. 12 and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Jan. 13.

The U.S. and its European allies have several times in the past month issued joint and individual messages advising Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country will face "massive consequences” and “severe costs” if he goes ahead with further military intervention in Ukraine.

Kyiv has been battling a pro-Moscow insurgency in two eastern regions bordering Russia since 2014, shortly after the Kremlin annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. The U.S. and its allies have for weeks warned that Russia may be planning an invasion of Ukraine. Russia denies planning to invade Ukraine, but satellite pictures showing as many as 100,000 troops gathered on the border have set Western nations on edge.

Ukraine, which wants to join the NATO military alliance, has blamed Moscow for supporting separatists in the conflict in its east since 2014. Russia sees itself as threatened by a NATO advance and wants to prevent the neighboring former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia from joining the alliance. Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Donbass has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014, according to the United Nations. The region is one of the several sources of friction between Russia and Ukraine.