Attempts to mediate in the Ukraine war

Turkey's President Erdoğan has again offered to act as mediator in talks aimed at ending the war in Ukraine, and proposed Istanbul as the venue. After German Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron had a phone conversation with Putin last week, Erdoğan has now also talked on the phone to the Russian president. And Turkey would be willing to participate in an observation mission in cooperation with Russia, Ukraine and the UN, he said. Commentators are dubious.

Open/close all quotes (UA) /

Impossible from the Russian perspective

Erdoğan's attempt at mediation on May 30 was bound to fail because Putin doesn't want negotiations, writes Vadym Denysenko of the Ukrainian Institute of the Future in

“Yesterday's attempt by Erdoğan to hold trilateral talks with Putin and Zelensky was correct in terms of content, but an impossible undertaking from the Russian perspective. ... Putin, it seems to me, does not want Erdoğan to become a peacemaker and expand his regional influence. And he dreams of being asked by Biden to negotiate. So don't have any illusions that Putin is willing to negotiate. At present he's unwilling to negotiate a thing.”

Il Manifesto (IT) /

Erdoğan's Donbass

Erdoğan should not act as mediator here as he is hardly any better than Putin, Il Manifesto rages:

“Everyone has his own Donbass. In the case of Erdoğan and Turkey - a cornerstone of Nato since 1952 - they go by the names of Rojava in Syria and Kurdistan in Iraq, where the sultan has stationed troops and occupied the territory of other states without anyone daring to raise an eyebrow. ... Since mid-April, the Turkish army has been conducting a massive operation against PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) targets in northern Iraq, as well as against the Yazidis and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militias, and is also bombing Kobane.”

Novaya Gazeta Europe (RU) /

Driven by fear of a new strategic alliance

Novaya Gazeta Europe sees concern about their leading role in the EU as the main reason for French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz's insistence on negotiations with Moscow:

“Russia is seen in France and Germany as a useful counterweight to US influence. The US is seen there not only as an ally, but also as a competitor. Moreover, Paris and Berlin fear the formation of a new strategic 'core' in Central and Eastern Europe, based on a military-political union between Ukraine and Poland, which the Baltic states and Romania might also join. In the event of a Ukrainian victory, this core, with the support of the US and the UK, could significantly reduce Franco-German dominance in the EU.”