Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated early on Saturday his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would visit Turkey subsequent month and pressured his enthusiasm for peace talks during which Ankara may play a decisive function.
He made the remarks throughout a visit to Istanbul by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom he greeted as his “expensive pal.”
After greater than two hours of talks on the Vahdettin mansion in Istanbul, Erdoğan additionally backed Kyiv’s membership of NATO and supplied a strong protection of Ukraine’s independence, declaring Russia’s invasion to have contravened worldwide legislation.
Noting Turkey had made the “most effort” of any nation in earlier makes an attempt at diplomacy and stressing Ankara’s function in a deal to permit Ukraine to export grain out of the Black Sea, Erdoğan insisted Turkey had the “most honest need” to see Kyiv and Moscow return to the negotiating desk.
Zelenskyy additionally noticed that “Turkey is able to assume a management function” in Kyiv’s peace plan.
Both Erdoğan and Zelenskyy hoped the grain export deal would quickly be prolonged, and the Turkish chief added it could make sense to start out renewing it for longer timeframes than each two months. Erdoğan stated he would initially focus on with Putin the concept of stretching the deal to a few month stints, however then urged the total program needs to be so long as two years to assist fight starvation in poorer nations.
The Turkish president has performed a strategic balancing act over the course of the conflict. While broadly condemning the illegality of Putin’s invasion and supplying Bayraktar drones to Ukrainian forces, Turkey has additionally emerged as a key route for sanctions avoidance and can’t afford to alienate Moscow due to its heavy energy dependence on Russia.
Erdoğan was fast to make a show of assist to Putin throughout Yevgeny Prigozhin’s abortive mutiny final month, simply as Putin had backed him amid the nonetheless extremely opaque Turkish coup try of 2016.