Ukrainian Ambassador to Ankara Vasily Bodnar said that the Turkish army will not come to Ukraine’s aid in the event of a military invasion by Russia.
“In the event of an armed aggression by Russia, Ukraine should rely only on itself. Because we have no direct obligations with Turkey to enter the war. It would be self-deception and not true, to say that we can count on such help”, Mr Bodnar said.
“No foreign state will send its armed forces to take part in hostilities in Ukraine. Another thing is when we talk about exercises, training and joint activities, this is a more real story. And Ukraine only needs to defend itself”, the diplomat summed up.
Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey was ready to be a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Turkey’s last year’s sale of a party of Bayraktar drones to Ukraine, which Ukraine could use to retake the breakaway Donbass region, have reigneted tension in the conflict zone in recent weeks. According to some observers and analysts, Ukraine may have sought to repeat last year’s actions by a close Turkish ally, Azerbaijan. Last year, thanks also in part to the Turkish made drones, Azernaijan fought a victorious war against its neighbour Armenia and in this way managed to largely settle old territorial disputes between the two countries in its favour.
The threat of a military solution in the Donbass may have led to the movement of Russian troops “close to the Ukrainian borders” in recent weeks that has been making headlines for the past few weeks and has led some Western media to speak of an imminent Russian invasion.
Turkey, which has been a NATO member since 1952, has been following the Ukrainian conflict with great interest. It claims historial ties to much of what is now Western and Southern Ukraine and to Crimea, historically known as the “Crimean Khanate” and populated by “Crimean Turks”, today outside of Turkey generally referred to as Crimean Tatars, which still constitute a significant minority of the population in Crimea.
Crimea had been part of Ukraine since 1991 but after a revolution deposed the Ukrainian President in February 2014 Crimea joined Russia as the result of a speedily organized referendum that took place on 16 March 2014.