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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan argued Western countries are contributing to Russia’s aggression by using “provocative” tactics against the regime Wednesday.
Erdogan voiced his opposition to European policies during a press conference in Belgrade alongside Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. His comments came as the European Union proposed plans to place a price cap on Russian oil imports, something Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed retaliation against.
Putin has stated that a price cap would be a red line for his country, threatening to halt all imports of natural gas and oil to Europe if it moves forward.
“We will propose a price cap on Russian gas … We must cut Russia’s revenues which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war in Ukraine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters Wednesday.
Turkey has been a thorn in Europe’s side for months regarding Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Erdogan first voiced his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
Europe’s threatened price cap comes amid an energy crisis for the continent. Germany and many other European countries relied heavily on Russian oil and gas imports, which have been severely limited in response to Western sanctions against Russia.
If the European Union approves a price cap on oil and gas, individual governments within the international organization would have to willingly impose it themselves.