The Ukraine War and Turkey as a “Third Pole” in a New International Order

Policy brief

Tziarras, Zenonas (2022) The Ukraine War and Turkey as a “Third Pole” in a New International Order, PRIO Cyprus Centre Policy Brief, 1. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

After annexing Crimea and facilitating the secession of Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014, on 24 February 2022, Russia launched a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine to supposedly "denazify" the country, prevent its prospective accession to NATO and the European Union (EU), and demand its demilitarization.

The invasion has unfolded much more slowly than expected owing to the fierce resistance of Ukraine and the serious operational and planning weaknesses and mistakes of the much stronger Russian army. The international community reacted immediately and decisively against Russia, imposing a series of costly sanctions. Turkey was among the countries that refused to follow suit, instead attempting to act as a mediator between the warring camps. This approach reveals the continuation of certain Turkish foreign policy tendencies, and aims to secure a new international role for Turkey.

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