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Turkey reveals progress in Russia-Ukraine talks

Turkey’s foreign minister announced that Russia and Ukraine are close to reaching an agreement on “major” issues, raising hopes for a positive outcome of the negotiations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba met in the Turkish town of Antalya earlier this month, attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The dialogue did not yield concrete results.

Turkey reveals progress in Russia-Ukraine talks
Turkish Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Photo: Reuters

However, in an interview with Turkish daily Hurriyet on March 20, Cavusoglu confirmed there was “cooperation in the views of the two sides on important topics, essential issues”. . Last week, Mr. Cavusoglu traveled to Russia and Ukraine for separate talks with Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kuleba,

“We can say that we hope for a ceasefire if the parties do not back down from their current position,” the top Turkish diplomat said.

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, told Al Jazeera television that the two sides were moving closer together on four key issues. Kalin cited Russia’s request to Ukraine to give up its ambitions to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), demilitarize, “de-fascist” and protect its language. Russia in Ukraine.

Both Ukraine and the West consider Moscow’s accusations of “fascists” among the Ukrainian leadership as baseless propaganda. According to Kalin, Kiev considers such mentions offensive.

Kiev and Moscow are said to have made some progress in negotiations last week on a political mechanism that would help ensure Ukraine’s security while keeping it outside NATO, despite accusations by the other of complicating Ukraine’s security. complicated situation.

According to the spokesman, a permanent ceasefire can only be achieved through a meeting between the Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. But, Kalin said, the Kremlin leadership felt that the positions between Moscow and Kiev on “strategic issues” of Crimea and Donbass were not close enough to expedite such a meeting.

Turkey is a NATO member state that shares maritime borders with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea. Ankara has good relations with both Moscow and Kiev, and has offered to mediate between the two sides.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly affirmed that Turkey will not give up relations with Russia or Ukraine. Despite condemning Russia for launching a military offensive campaign in Ukraine, Ankara has so far refused to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Tuan Anh

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