Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized his Western colleagues for having the wrong attitude towards Russian President Vladimir Putin, contrasting that with his own ability to work with Moscow on issues ranging from the Syrian peace process to last week’s deal to export Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea ports.
“You know the attitude of Western politicians towards Putin,” he told the state broadcaster TRT during a lengthy interview on Monday evening, calling it “unbecoming of politics.”
“The attitude you show him is the attitude you will get in return,” Erdogan explained.
He credited this insight for Ankara’s ability to successfully negotiate the grain deal with both Moscow and Kiev on Friday. Turkey had also hosted the initial talks between Ukraine and Russia in the early days of the conflict, before the process broke down – reportedly at the urging of some Western leaders.