Turkey tacitly criticizes US for stirring Russia tensions

Turkey tacitly criticizes US for stirring Russia tensions

Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:9AM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has tacitly criticized the United States for ratcheting up tensions with Russia, saying a return to Cold War hostilities is in no one’s interest.

Speaking to reporters in Turkey’s southern Antalya Province on Friday, Cavusoglu said new tensions between Washington and Moscow “will serve nothing but add to the existing problems.”

    “We do not want to go back to the Cold War era. There is already a pile of problems around the world,” the Turkish foreign minister said.

Ties between the administration of US President Barack Obama and the Kremlin have considerably worsened over the past months, with US officials escalating tensions with accusations of Russian interference in the November 8 presidential election in the US and releasing information that they say corroborates the allegations of Russian meddling.

On Thursday, Obama ordered a series of new sanctions against Russia over the allegations and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, accusing them of being suspected spies. The US president also imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies.

Russia has denied the claim that it hacked American computers to influence the election. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday proposed to President Vladimir Putin of Russia that a similar number of US diplomats be ejected from the country in retaliation. Later on the day, however, President Putin refused to retaliate in kind, saying Russia “will not create problems for US diplomats.”

Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, in his Friday remarks underlined the need for the “global actors” to solve their problems through diplomatic channels.

Turkey, long considered a US ally and still a NATO member, grew disillusioned with Washington after a botched coup in Turkey in July and US criticism of the Turkish crackdown on suspected putschists. Ankara has been gravitating toward Moscow ever since.

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