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Erdogan stuck on fence in Ukraine crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has chided NATO for failing to do more for Ukraine but remains averse to antagonizing Russia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hold a joint press conference after their meeting, Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 3, 2022.
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Faced with a tough balancing act, Turkey has been sending mixed signals on its position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has angered Moscow by developing military ties with Kyiv, has called for NATO action on the one hand, while stressing the importance of preserving ties with Russia on the other.

Erdogan’s unusual relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense systems have shaken NATO allies’ confidence in Ankara in recent years. In the crisis over Ukraine, Erdogan said from the outset his stance would be in line with NATO decisions, signaling in a sense that he would not be obstructive. Some of his more recent messages, however, have sounded as if he is seeking NATO’s direct involvement in the fray. 

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