Erdogan visits Ukraine hoping to play mediator with Russia

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ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan is about to go to his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine on Thursday after pitching Turkey as a mediator to ease tensions with Russia, and an official mentioned he was not selecting any sides within the disaster.

The Turkish official informed Reuters that Ankara expects tensions to ease after the assembly in Kyiv. On Wednesday, Ankara and Kyiv mentioned they might signal a free commerce settlement and different offers.

Russia has denied any plans of invading Ukraine amid concern by many Western nations over its construct up of greater than 100,000 troops close to the border, however has demanded sweeping safety ensures from the West.

Erdogan’s journey comes after visits by leaders of NATO members Britain, Poland, and the Netherlands to Kyiv amid the standoff. Turkey has good ties with Kyiv and Moscow however has mentioned it could do what is critical as a NATO member if Russia invades.

Ankara provided in November to assist ease constructing tensions, and final month Turkish diplomatic sources mentioned each Russia and Ukraine had been open to the concept.

A separate Turkish official, talking on situation of anonymity, mentioned Erdogan will name on each side to train restraint, and added Ankara wished to proceed its cooperation with each of the “essential” international locations.

Turkey’s “method just isn’t selecting one facet or standing in opposition to one nation within the tensions,” the official mentioned. “With Erdogan’s initiative and with a few of the messages he’ll convey, we anticipate tensions to ease.”

Turkey shares the Black Sea with Ukraine and Russia. Erdogan has mentioned battle could be unacceptable within the area and warned Russia that an invasion could be unwise.

While forging cooperation with Russia on defence and power, Turkey has opposed Moscow’s insurance policies in Syria and Libya, in addition to its annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. It has additionally offered refined drones to Ukraine and inked a deal to produce extra close to Kyiv, angering Russia.

Ukraine’s prime minister mentioned on Wednesday that Ukraine and Turkey would signal a dozen agreements together with a free commerce deal through the talks in Kyiv.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Raju Gopalakrishnan)



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