The Turkish leader announced his readiness to take the initiative to end hostilities between Russia and Ukraine and expressed his desire to establish lasting peace in the region as soon as possible
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he announced his intention to “prolong the effect” achieved during the talks in Istanbul, according to the press service of the Turkish presidential administration.
Erdogan once again announced that Ankara is ready to take the initiative to end hostilities in Ukraine and take on the role of a mediator. “President Erdogan expressed his desire to establish a lasting peace in the region as soon as possible, continuing the effect achieved during the Istanbul talks,” The release says.
The Kremlin press service noted that Putin and Erdogan discussed the humanitarian aspects of the situation in Ukraine and Donbass, taking into account the results of the talks between the Russian leader and UN Secretary General António Guterres.
The heads of state also discussed the recent exchange of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko for American Trevor Reed, which took place in Turkey. Putin thanked Erdogan “for facilitating the implementation of the exchange carried out at the Ankara airport.”
Earlier, Putin said that the Russian and Ukrainian delegations on March 29 during the talks in Istanbul “reached a breakthrough” ;. “We have achieved a fairly significant breakthrough. Our Ukrainian colleagues did not associate security requirements with such a concept as the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine,— he elaborated.
Negotiations to resolve the situation in Ukraine began on February 27, the parties held several rounds in person and several— in online mode. The delegations achieved the greatest progress during the meeting with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey in Istanbul on March 29.
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Following the meeting, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that Russia had taken “two huge steps towards peace” and decided on them after the written proposals of Kyiv, which concerned, among other things, the neutral status of Ukraine. Also, at the meeting in Turkey, the Ukrainian side did not associate with the concept of “internationally recognized borders of Ukraine” status of Crimea, Sevastopol, DPR and LPR.
Nevertheless, on April 26, Putin announced that the position of the Ukrainian authorities on the terms of the settlement had changed dramatically after the talks in Istanbul. “They [the Ukrainian delegation] moved away from their previous intentions to put out of brackets the issues of security guarantees [status] of Crimea, Sevastopol and the republics of Donbass. They just gave it up,»— stressed the Russian leader.
Now Ukraine wants to discuss Crimea and Donbass at the summit of the leaders of the two countries. Moscow insists on resolving this issue at the stage of drawing up a draft settlement agreement.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has several times stated his desire to personally meet with Putin. He noted that “from the very beginning” insisted on the meeting, because he believes that the transfer of information through intermediaries “will not give the desired result.”
Putin, in turn, stressed that the possibility of direct contact between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine depends on the results of negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations.
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