Turkey expects 'clear picture' on war in Ukraine by spring

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference in Istanbul

ROME (Reuters) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that he expects a "clear picture" on the war in Ukraine by spring, as shelling and clashes continued and the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin was open to negotiations.

"Now Ukraine is advancing on the ground, retaking some of their occupied territories. But Russia in return is deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure. So life is getting difficult for Ukrainians particularly, and for all of us," Cavusoglu said at a forum in Rome.

"I think before the spring time we will have clear picture about ceasefire or truce or negotiation table. But we will not give up. As Turkey we will continue our efforts," Cavusoglu said.

Russia's war against Ukraine became more complicated with the fighting on the ground getting heavier, Cavusoglu said, adding that some Western countries should do more to get two sides to the negotiation table.

Putin was "open to negotiations" on Ukraine but the West must accept Moscow's demands, the Kremlin said on Friday, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said he was willing to talk if Putin were looking for a way to end the war.

After more than nine months of fighting and with winter tightening its grip, Western countries are trying to boost aid for Ukraine as it reels from Russian missile and drone attacks targeting key energy infrastructure that have left millions without heating, electricity and water.

Fighting is raging in eastern Ukraine, while Russian forces in the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions remain on the defensive.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Nick Macfie)