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Turkish FM says Ankara won’t back unilateral sanctions against Iran, Russia

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) meets his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the Indian capital of New Delhi on March 1, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish foreign minister says Ankara will not support Western sanctions that are unilaterally imposed on countries such as Iran and Russia without the endorsement of the United Nations nor will it succumb to external pressure on following the restrictive measures.

Mevlut Cavusoglu made the comment before a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Wednesday when asked how long Turkey could resist the introduction of anti-Moscow sanctions over Russia’s year-long military campaign in neighboring Ukraine.

"We have no need to resist, we make our own decisions as a sovereign state. We do not join any unilateral sanctions, we support only those imposed with the support of the UN,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by Russia's TASS news agency.

“So it's not just about Russia, but we also don't support sanctions against Iran or any other countries. We make our own decisions. Nobody can put pressure on us," he added.

Russia began its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with a declared aim of “demilitarizing” Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics.

Back in 2014, the two republics, which are predominantly Russian-speaking, broke away from Ukraine, prompting Kiev to launch a bloody war against both regions. The years-long conflict has killed more than 14,000 people, mostly in the Donbas.

Since the onset of the conflict between the two countries, the United States and its European allies have unleashed an array of unprecedented sanctions against Russia and poured numerous batches of advanced weapons into Ukraine to help its military fend off the Russian troops, despite repeated warnings by the Kremlin that such measures will only prolong the war.     

Meanwhile, former US president Donald Trump imposed harsh economic sanctions against Iran under the so-called “maximum pressure” policy in 2018 after pulling Washington out of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Iran and the world powers.

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