Turkey Says Putin Is Willing to End War – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one of the most vocal supporters of a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine, claimed this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking to bring the war in Ukraine to an end.
During an interview with PBS, the Turkish president described his most recent talks with the Russian president and expressed optimism that Putin wants to bring the conflict to an end “as soon as possible.”
“He is actually showing me that he’s willing to end this as soon as possible,” Erdogan said. “That was my impression, because the way things are going right now are quite problematic.”
Erdogan also admitted that Russia was facing trouble on the battlefield, following Ukraine’s recent gains in the northeast and the southeast. The Turkish president said that his discussion with Putin at a summit in Uzbekistan last week led him to believe that Putin would act as his military faces increasing difficulties, and confirmed that 200 hostages are expected to be exchanged in the near future.
What Does An End Look Like?
While Erdogan may well be correct in his assessment of Putin’s willingness to bring an end to the war, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen immediately – or even in the short to medium term. Both sides of this conflict want to see it come to an end, but not under any circumstances.
The war could end immediately in many ways – Putin could withdraw his troops and give up his goal of “liberating” Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts, or Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy could give in and give Putin what he wants. Neither side is likely to do so, meaning more peace negotiations are necessary – and those peace talks can only be successful if one side, or both sides, are willing to compromise.
The war could come to an end quickly, but with Ukraine succeeding in Kharkiv and south-eastern Ukraine, and Russia still on the back foot, Zelenskyy will almost certainly refuse to back down and cede any territory to Russia. He has already insisted that he won’t do that under any circumstances.
So what does an end to the war look like? That’s down to Putin. All we know is that the Russian president, should he choose to negotiate, will need to find a way to pitch his loss as a success. His political future – and potentially his freedom – depends on it.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.