ANKARA, December 20. /TASS/. Turkey under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has abdicated its role as NATO stronghold against Russia, the Sabah newspaper reported on Tuesday.
"Turkey and Russia, that is [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and [his Russian counterpart Vladimir] Putin have managed to establish relations based on mutual respect. Turkey has relinquished its role as a ‘NATO stronghold’ against Russia. We should realize how important this is for Turkey if we take a look at Ukraine, which has been destroyed as a result of its course on following the Western clown [Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky]. Or we can take a look at Europe, which is currently weathering a severe energy crisis. Fears are that thousands of people may freeze to death this winter," the newspaper’s columnist Mehmet Barlas wrote.
According to him, "even innocent political decisions may have critical consequences." "The West has been flooding [Ukraine] with money and weapons, but now the Ukrainian people have neither electricity, nor water, nor central heating. Everything has collapsed. The oppressed Ukrainian people are at the mercy of the Russian army, awaiting occupation. This situation is quite telling for Ukraine, who has been blindly following false heroes, relying on the United States and the European Union," he added.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation in Ukraine following a request for assistance from the leaders of the Donbass republics. After that, the US, the EU, the UK, as well as a number of other countries imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities. In addition, Western countries began and continue to supply arms and military equipment to Kiev to the tune of billions of dollars.
Ankara has repeatedly stressed that Turkey had no intention to join the US-led West’s sanctions against Russia in order not to damage its own economy and leave an open channel of dialogue with Moscow.