General

Some kind of Russian defeat ‘only way’ to end war: Portugal’s ex-minister

"It seems to me that some kind of Russian defeat is the only way to end the war. And it is clear that Russia essentially wants control of Ukraine that is not acceptable to Ukrainians, is not acceptable to the West, is not acceptable to you, the United States, or the European Union," Macaes said.

"And therefore, in that sense, Russia has to lose, has to give up that goal," he added.

He said that although defeat could be a limited defeat and could be sold by Russian President Vladimir Putin to his public as a victory, a defeat, meaning the Kremlin gives up on its plans for Ukraine, is needed.

"That's the only way to have peace. An agreement that gives Russia what it wants is not a path to peace," the former minister said.

Türkiye 'not equidistant' to Ukraine, Russia

Ankara is not equidistant to Kyiv and Russia, it is "clearly on the side of Ukraine," Macaes said, adding that existing statements, Bayraktar drone sells, and providing long-distance missiles to Ukraine, even before the US, show that.

"What Türkiye has done differently is that (it) continues to talk to Russia, but that should not be interpreted as neutrality. Türkiye is not neutral in this conflict," he said. "My interpretations (are) very clearly on Ukraine side, and that's been recognized not by me, but by Ukrainian president (Volodymyr Zelenskyy), (he) continues to think that Türkiye is an important partner of Ukraine."

Zelenskyy also thinks that Türkiye could be an important security partner for the future due to its geographic position, he said.

Stating that Türkiye does want Russia to be controlling Ukraine as it would turn Russia into a dominant country in the Black Sea, he said that it is not in Türkiye's interest.

"That is also guided foreign policy here," he added.

Regarding the Black Sea grain deal signed under Türkiye's mediation, he said he was "very pessimistic" about the deal and that he was wrong.

"It has a positive impact on food inflation around the world. So, I think it was a very positive role. In diplomacy, the measure of success is a success, if things work or not. And it's clear that the grain deal has worked," Macaes said. "Congratulations to Türkiye for being the only country that has been able to have some impact on the course of the conflict."

Sanctions against Russia have 'no impact on conflict' as they'll have long-term impact

Asked whether the sanctions imposed against Russia backfired when the negative effects of the war on energy, food security, and migration are considered, Macaes said they will take "a long time to work."

"The sanctions don't have an impact on the conflict. They have an impact (in the) long term," he said, adding that the measures will create problems for Moscow to improve its military to recover its capacities as a lot of its equipment was lost.

What has had an impact on the conflict is military support for Ukraine more than the economic sanctions, he stressed, however, added that he does not think the economic sanctions are useless.

"They will turn Russia into a weaker economy and therefore less of a threat to its neighbors in the future," Macaes said.

"But one lesson of the war, in the end, wars are decided on the battlefield. They're not decided on the economic chessboard," he added.

Although diplomats like to say there's no military solution to conflicts, the lesson we learned from the war for future conflicts is "the solution to the military conflict is military," he said.

"Lots of countries around the world are buying more and more military equipment because they learned that lesson. Having a strong economy is not enough to have a strong military," he concluded.

Source: Anadolu Agency