Turkey has joint projects linking it closely to Russia and will continue its policy of balancing, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
“You know our approach to this process from the very beginning. We advocate process management based on the policy of balancing. We will continue this policy in the future, as we have certain ties with Russia at the moment,” Erdogan told reporters upon his return from the NATO summit in Madrid.
The president specified that Turkey currently receives about 40% of natural gas from Russia. In addition, work is currently underway at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, a joint project where the laying of the fourth unit is currently underway. Ankara and Moscow also have relations and contacts in the defense industry, Erdogan said.
“All these issues link us to one another. So we will continue these relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and we will continue them based on the policy of balancing. We do not want our diplomatic traffic to suffer,” the Turkish president said.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Turkey did not join the US-led Western sanctions campaign against Russia.