Turkey FM warns of 'domino effect' of Ukraine crisis
Thursday, April 10, 2014
ANKARA - Turkey's foreign minister has warned that Russia's unilateral annexation of Crimea may lead to a domino effect in and around the Black Sea and neighboring regions of Turkey.
Speaking on a visit to Japan, Ahmet Davutoglu said: "Our concern is not only Ukraine. If this trend starts, which acts against territorial integrity, there are many other frozen conflicts like Trans-Dniester, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh."
Speaking to Japan's Nikkei newspaper, Davutoglu said Turkey respects the territorial integrity of Ukraine, internationally recognized and endorsed by the U.N. and does not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Asked about his views on Russia demanding a federal state in Ukraine, he said: "Any administrative issue should be discussed within Ukraine by the Ukrainians."
Russia has said Ukraine should reform itself into a federation, but the Kiev government has refused.
On speculations that Russia might stop its gas flow to Ukraine and whether it would effect Turkey, Davutoglu said Turkey's energy agreements with Russia are clear and have been continuing for many years without any problems.
From April 1, Russia increased the price of gas for Ukraine to US$485 per barrel from US$268.59, an act Ukraine’s government called ‘a declaration of economic war.’
During the 2009 Ukrainian gas crisis, the flow of Russian gas via Ukraine to Turkey had stopped.
"We have already decided to diversify both energy resources and different routes, and the nuclear plants we are building with Japan and Russia are an alternative source of energy...Concerning this particular issue, we do not expect a crisis, as there are clear agreements between Turkey and Russia."
- Syria crisis
Responding to a question about whether stepping up military aid to the Syrian opposition was an option he said: "Of course, as the regime is opting to increase military pressure; these are the people of Syria and they need to be supported."
He also warned that in case of any threat to the Suleyman Shah Tomb in Syria - Turkey's only exclave - Turkey would take all measures.
Protected by Turkish troops, the tomb and the surrounding area are located in Aleppo's Manbij district, approximately 30km from the Turkish border.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency