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Erdogan says he is ready to host a Russia-Ukraine summit

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was ready to take action. welcome, if necessary, a Russia-Ukraine peace summit but reiterated that his support à integrity territory of Ukraine, following a meeting on Friday with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky à Istanbul.

“We are ready to host a peace summit in which Russia will participate,” declared the head of state, who spoke to the press alongside the Ukrainian president.

Mr. Erdogan reiterated his “support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of (his) strategic ally, Ukraine.”

“While continuing our solidarity with “Ukraine we will continue to work to end the war and in favor of a just and negotiated peace”, he insisted.

Mr. Zelensky expressed his “gratitude” to his Turkish counterpart, who “from the beginning (…) recognized our territorial integrity and our sovereignty, including regarding the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula” annexed by Moscow in 2014.

“Any proposal for the settlement of this war must start from the formula proposed by the country which defends its territory and its people”, he added. “We want a just peace.”

Ukraine has set the withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory as a precondition for talks with Moscow.

Moreover, Mr. Zelensky indicated that he had “transmitted a list of Ukrainian citizens, especially Crimean Tatars, who are repressed by Russia in the occupied territories and detained in Russian prisons and camps in extremely cruel and inhumane conditions.”

NATO member Turkey has sought to maintain good relations with both Moscow and Kiev since Russia's large-scale attack on Ukraine two years ago. Mr. Erdogan presents himself as an intermediary between the belligerents.

In the first weeks of the war, Turkey hosted peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, which failed. She hopes to be able to revive them.

“The two parties have reached the limit of what they can obtain through war,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in early March, advocating the establishment of “a dialogue with a view to a cease-fire.” fire”.

– Links with Russia –

Turkey's strategic position in the Black Sea and its control of the Bosphorus Strait give it a unique military, political and economic role in the conflict.

Erdogan says he is ready to host a Russia-Ukraine summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Dolmabahce presidential office in Istanbul, March 8, 2024 © TURKISH PRESIDENCY PRESS OFFICE – Handout

In July 2022, Ankara participated with the UN in the negotiation of an agreement between Moscow and Kiev on the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, from which Russia ultimately withdrew a year later.

Kiev has since launched another export route that runs along the coast and avoids disputed international waters.

Turkey, on the other hand, angered Moscow last year by allowing commanders of the ultranationalist Azov regiment, Moscow's bête noire, to return to Ukraine, despite an agreement with Russia providing for them to stay there until the end of hostilities.

During his visit, Mr. Zelensky went on Friday “to shipyards where corvettes are built for (his) navy” and was to meet Turkish contractors in the defense sector, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

The meeting between MM. Zelensky and Erdogan comes a week after the visit to Turkey of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who spoke with his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, at a diplomatic forum in Antalya.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also scheduled to visit Turkey on a date that has not yet been set.

Ties between Turkey and Russia have sparked tension among Westerners, who accuse Ankara of facilitating Moscow's evasion of sanctions by exporting certain goods to Russia.

The The United States sanctioned several Turkish companies for helping Moscow buy goods that could be used by its armed forces.

Visiting Vilnius, the head of the Ukrainian diplomacy, for its part, warned the West against the “dropper aid” provided to kyiv.

“The strategy of providing aid to Ukraine in dribs and drabs no longer works,” Dmytro Kouleba said during a visit to Vilnius.

“It's over, and if things continue as they are now, it's not going to end well for all of us,” he added. following a meeting with his French, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian counterparts.

He called for an “unrestricted and timely supply of weapons and in ammunition to ensure that Ukraine beats Russia.”

In Ukraine, the Ukrainian governor of the Kharkiv region (east), Oleg Synegoubov, deplored on Telegram the death of at least two people when their car was attacked by a Russian army drone.

In Russia, two people were killed and another “seriously injured” in a Ukrainian drone strike in the Belgorod region, according to Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, the area being regularly targeted by this type of attack.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116