In a significant diplomatic move, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan aims to make progress in resolving the ongoing conflict in Ukraine during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Turkey in August.
Erdogan wants to take advantage of the visit to address key issues including expanding the Black Sea grain agreement and facilitating prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and Russia. With hope for productive discussions, Erdogan expressed optimism about the prospect of peace and underlined Turkey’s commitment to play an important role in the talks.
“Our hope is that it will be extended not every two months but at least once every three months,” Erdogan underlined during a joint press conference. We will make efforts in this regard and extend its term to two years. Will try.” Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine.
Black Sea grain deal:
One of the key topics on the agenda is the extension of the Black Sea grain deal, which allows the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea despite the ongoing conflict. Erdogan stressed the importance of prolonging the agreement, aiming to extend it by at least three months and eventually up to two years. The stability and continuity of the grain deal is important not only for the countries involved but also for tackling hunger in poorer countries. Erdogan is committed to ensuring long-term and uninterrupted flow of grain exports.
Exchange of Prisoners:
Another important issue to be addressed during Putin’s visit is the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia. Erdogan, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, highlighted the importance of the matter, especially the return of detainees including political prisoners and Crimean Tatars. The discussions aimed to find common ground and reach agreement on the release and repatriation of persons detained during the conflict. Erdogan expressed optimism about achieving a positive outcome, stressing the need to work towards the return of all detainees and political prisoners.
Erdogan’s Peace Initiative:
Erdogan sees Putin’s visit as an opportunity to make progress towards peace in Ukraine. He stressed Turkey’s readiness to play a leadership role in Kiev’s peace plan and the country’s commitment to finding a solution. Erdogan’s support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO reflects Turkey’s dedication to this cause. He defends the independence of Ukraine and condemns Russia’s aggression as a violation of international law. Erdogan believes that Turkey’s sincere desire for peace can make a significant contribution to bringing both Ukraine and Russia back to the negotiating table.
The international community is closely watching the upcoming discussions between Erdogan and Putin, especially investing in the resolution of the Ukraine conflict. The Kremlin acknowledges Erdogan’s mediation efforts and appreciates his role in trying to find a peaceful solution. The talks between the two leaders are important in shaping the course of the conflict and the prospects for renewed talks between Ukraine and Russia.
Balancing Act of Türkiye:
As a NATO member, Turkey has successfully maintained diplomatic relations with both Russia and Ukraine throughout the conflict. Erdogan’s strategic approach includes denouncing Russia’s aggression while maintaining economic ties. Turkey has refrained from imposing economic sanctions on Russia but has supplied arms to Ukraine and called for its sovereignty to be respected. This delicate balancing act highlights Turkey’s unique position and its efforts to navigate the complex dynamics of the region.