Erdoğan walks a fine line as the Ukraine war’s double agent,

Whose side are you really on?

That’s the question that’s bound to loom large in the mind of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when he meets his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Lviv on Thursday. Of all the members of the NATO alliance, Erdoğan is easily the most slippery in terms of his allegiances.

On the one hand, Zelenskyy has grounds to thank the Turkish leader. Erdoğan is trying to present himself as a neutral power broker on the Black Sea, mediating between Russia and Ukraine to allow grain exports to resume out of blockaded ports. A Turkish company — one of whose executives is Erdoğan’s son-in-law — is the supplier of the Bayraktar drones that have given Ukrainian forces a decisive boost on the battlefield, to the fury of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Erdoğan has also closed the Black Sea to Russian naval reinforcements through the Bosphorus.

On the other hand, Turkey is facing accusations of being a war profiteer, or rather what sanctions experts call a ”black knight” — a nation that helps in the evasion of international embargoes for its own benefit. A surge in Turkey-Russia trade and the adoption of a Russian payment system by Turkish banks since the outbreak of the war has triggered speculation that Ankara has spotted the advantages of giving Moscow a helping hand as its own mismanaged and inflation-crippled economy lurches out of control. Läs artikel