The Kremlin said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin might meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a Turkish proposal for hosting talks between Russia and the West, Reuters reported on Monday.
Erdogan and Putin are expected to visit Kazakhstan later this week, where they could hold a meeting. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had not received any signals about the prospects for talks with the West but said Moscow was open to discussing the idea.
Turkey has emerged as a broker between the warring sides in Ukraine and helped successfully negotiate the grain export deal that has unlocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Turkey hosted the last known in-person peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in Istanbul at the end of March, and virtual negotiations followed, which showed some promise.
But the peace talks ultimately failed, reportedly due in part to pressure from former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. After it was clear the negotiations hit a dead end back in April, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said there were “countries within NATO who want the war to continue” and want Russia to “become weaker.”
The Biden administration has not been pushing for a diplomatic solution to the war and has virtually cut off all talks with Russia, although it’s possible that back-channel negotiations are being held.
While the Biden administration has shown no interest in diplomacy, there are growing calls inside the US for the government to negotiate with Russia. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman retired Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that the US should “do everything we possibly can to try to get to the table to resolve this thing.”