New gas discoveries and pipelines will need to be made in the eastern Mediterranean, US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said after her meetings in Turkey, adding that "it is in our interest to have strong relations between Turkey and Israel. There are many different opportunities in the eastern Mediterranean, some of which will be for your immediate neighbors," the US official told the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
She added that "the closure of the Black Sea was very important. Even if Turkey does not participate in the sanctions, it should not allow Russia to use its territory to circumvent the sanctions".
"when NATO countries cooperate, when their systems are compatible, they are even more powerful and do not depend on countries like Russia." -Nuland
In an interview with the Turkish daily Hurriyet, the US Undersecretary of State commented on the Turkey-Israel rapprochement, saying "this is also in our interest. We are convinced that it is in our interest to have strong relations between Turkey and Israel, both in terms of trade and energy."
"One of the issues that this war has brought to us is that many countries that import large quantities of Russian gas need to diversify their resources and do it quickly. That is, there are many different opportunities in the eastern Mediterranean, some of which will involve your immediate neighbors, new gas discoveries and new pipelines will need to be made. We want to work on these issues and help Turkey diversify its resources, especially with regard to Russian gas," Nuland said.
As for Ukraine, the US official said that "Turkey certainly plays a central role" and that "the implementation of the Montreux Convention was very important in terms of not using the Black Sea in this war".
Commenting on Turkey's diplomatic efforts, she said: "When it comes to hosting talks, there are very few places where both Ukrainians and Russians feel equally comfortable. In this regard, President Tayyip Erdogan's efforts to host the talks are positive. Normally, peace talks take place after a ceasefire has been reached. However, Russia's reluctance to a ceasefire raises the possibility that there will be no result and no solution. We welcome the fact that the parties have come to the table to announce which issues they can agree on and which they can not. However, there is a big gap in the views from both sides at the moment. What we all want to see now - and Turkey strongly wishes so - is a ceasefire."
Victoria Nuland, who had meetings in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu and Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said she had good discussions on the rationale behind sanctions against Russia. "I think Turkey fully understands that we have to stop the flow of money that powers Putin's war machine and that it has to pay a heavy price for what it did in this war. Even if it cannot participate in the sanctions, I think it is much more important for Turkey to be very careful not to turn the country into a dirty money tank for the oligarchs by allowing them to use its territory to avoid sanctions. I see a good understanding from the government about these risks."
Regarding the establishment of a strategic mechanism between the US and Turkey, Victoria Nuland said that "the best feature of this new mechanism is that it provides the opportunity to discuss all issues in a single format. We can talk about bilateral relations, whether it is trade, human rights or civil society. We can also talk about regional issues such as Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and Ukraine. Given the fact that democracies act together, just as authoritarian governments act together, we can also address global issues in this way."
Victoria Nuland said that "when NATO countries cooperate, when their systems are compatible, they are even more powerful and do not depend on countries like Russia. We are aware of reports of the illegal use of Russian weapons. I am optimistic that we will work together on this issue (S-400). You know, Turkey also wants to buy F-16s and we talked about that. But the most important thing is that we continue to work on security issues from all sides," she said.