Ukraine war: Erdoğan meets world leaders at NATO summit

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has held meetings with prominent world leaders, including French and British top officials, to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine on the occasion of the extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels.

Accompanied by a large delegation that included Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, as well as other civilian and military officials, Erdoğan attended the NATO meeting in which key decisions were taken in regards to the crisis that affects Europe and the world in general.

At the NATO meeting, Erdoğan outlined Turkey’s position vis-a-vis the war between Ukraine and Russia, informing his counterparts about his government’s efforts to put an end to the armed conflict by mediation between the two warring sides.

Along with Erdoğan, U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, the German chancellor and other NATO leaders were also present at the summit hosted by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Erdoğan and Biden were seen shaking hands as the leaders posed for the family picture ahead of the summit.

NATO aims to up ‘costs’ for Russia

US President Joe Biden arrives for a round table meeting during an extraordinary summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Mar. 24.

NATO leaders pushed on Mar. 24 to raise the cost for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine by bolstering weapons supplies to Kiev and strengthening the alliance’s eastern flank.

U.S. President Joe Biden is looking to boost unity and ramp up sanctions on Moscow at a day-long string of summits in Brussels as the West responds to the Kremlin’s bid to upend the post-Cold War balance.

“Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line into barbarism,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as NATO leaders arrived for a meeting and the war marked one month.

“The harder our sanctions, the tougher our economic vice around the Putin regime, the more we can do to help the Ukrainians, I think the faster that this thing can be over,” he said.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas called on the 30-nation alliance to “double our efforts” to check the Kremlin’s aggression against its pro-Western neighbour.

“Putin cannot win this war,” she said. “We have to stop the war criminal.”

NATO leaders are vowing to bolster weapons deliveries to Ukraine and supply protection against chemical and nuclear threats from Russia.

“We are determined to continue to impose costs on Russia to bring about the end of this brutal war,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said. But the alliance has rebuffed pleas from Kiev to impose a no-fly zone to help halt Russia’s onslaught for fear of getting dragged into a “full-fledged” conflict with Moscow. “We have a responsibility to ensure that this conflict does not escalate beyond Ukraine that will cause even more suffering, even more death, even more destruction,” Stoltenberg said.

He accused Putin of making a “big mistake” by attacking Ukraine and underestimating the strength of the Kiev’s resistance as its forces have stalled Moscow’s advance.

Stoltenberg told journalists that “any use of chemical weapons would fundamentally change the nature of the conflict.”

“It will be a blatant violation of international law, and it will have widespread and severe consequences.” Leaders refused to give details on how NATO would react if Moscow unleashed chemical weapons against Ukraine.