Ukraine war: failed talks in Antalya

The meeting between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Antalya ended without concrete results. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was nevertheless cautiously optimistic: "No one expected that all the problems would be solved, but a start had to be made." Commentators agree.

Open/close all quotes
Sabah (TR) /

The battle lines have hardened

Unfortunately the result is not surprising, the pro-government daily Sabah concludes:

“The positive relations between Russia and the Western alliance that were expected once the Cold War ended have collapsed in every respect. The decisions of the US and EU to isolate Russia will have lasting negative effects on political thinking in Russia. The same applies to Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Although Lavrov came up with 'we were forced to do this' arguments at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum and declared that in reality it was the West that was playing the nuclear card, the idea of Russian expansionism has been indelibly stamped into the minds of all Europeans.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

At least they intend to keep talking

Radio Kommersant sees the meeting as a minor diplomatic success:

“What comes next? Foreign mediators continue their efforts and EU heads of state talk on the phone with Russia's president. China is visibly getting more active with each passing day. ... As long as these contacts are maintained, all is not lost. As for the plan proposed by the West - a ceasefire and then a transition to diplomacy - it's clear that neither side is ready for this yet. The contacts with the working groups in Belarus also continue. It is unclear when the next round of talks will take place, but assurances have been given that there will be one. The results of the ministerial meeting will probably have to be passed upwards before new steps can be expected.”

Avvenire (IT) /

The world is upside down

Now all manner of autocrats are stepping up as saviours, Avvenire writes with a shake of the head:

“Turkey's president is playing the role of the big mediator in the war in Ukraine, Xi Jinping's China is giving the United States lessons in fairness to demonstrate its autonomy to its Russian friend (but not too much), the Venezuelan caudillo Nicolás Maduro is returning to the US through the front door and becoming the protector of Joe Biden's oil reserves, while the latter finds the door of his traditional Arab allies in the Gulf closed. ... In this upside down world devastated by the Kremlin autocrat's military action, the other autocrats or dictators are assuming the role of saviours of the world - also in the media.”