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Italy: Russia is ‘deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure’ – Turkish FM at Rome Mediterranean Dialogue

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed the Moscow was ‘deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure’ in Ukraine, during a panel meeting at the Rome Mediterranean Dialogue forum on Friday.

“I think we need to also convince some Western allies to go back to the negotiating table now,” he told the audience. “Ukraine is advancing on the ground, retaking some of the territories, occupied territories, but Russia in return [is] deliberately targeting civilian infrastructures.”

Moscow has strongly denied attacking civilian targets. The Russian Defence Ministry says its ‘high-precision strikes’ are on military and energy sites, with presidential spokesperson Dmitri Peskov claiming that “we are talking about facilities that are directly or indirectly related to military infrastructure”.

Cavusoglu also stated that he believed there would be movement on the Ukraine conflict by early 2023.

“I think before the springtime, we will have a clearer picture about a ceasefire, or truce, or negotiating table,” he predicted.

Turkey is seen as a key intermediary in any future talks. Ankara was part of the UN-backed agreement in July to unblock Ukrainian grain from the ports, as well as Russian food and fertilisers, under the Black Sea Initiative.

The Mediterranean Dialogue conference takes place over Friday and Saturday, bringing together leaders of government, business and civil society in the region.

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