Türkiye prepared to mediate over Ukraine conflict – Erdogan

Speaking with the Turkish president, Vladimir Putin blamed Kiev for the breakdown of the previous round of talks brokered by Ankara

Türkiye is ready to once again bring Ukraine and Russia to the negotiating table, the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, pointed the finger at Kiev for the failure of previous peace efforts.   

Speaking during a meeting between the two leaders in Sochi, Russia, Erdogan said that his country “previously hosted direct talks between the [opposing] sides in the conflict,” as quoted by TASS. He went on to stress that Ankara is “ready to do all within its power on the issue and act as a mediator.”     

Putin, for his part, noted that while “agreements had been made with the Turkish president’s mediation [and] draft documents agreed between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations” last spring, Kiev eventually “sent them to the dump.” Commenting on the peace initiatives that have been proposed since, the Russian head of state pointed out that none of them have been discussed with Moscow.    

Putin concluded by saying that Russia has never refused any mediation efforts, including those by China, African nations, and Türkiye.   

The two presidents discussed a range of topics, including further developing bilateral relations and the Black Sea grain initiative, which Russia pulled out of in July.    

According to Putin, Moscow was forced to do so because the West would not keep its side of the bargain and lift sanctions on Russian agricultural exports. He added that the Kremlin is ready to return to the deal once its grievances are addressed.    

Over the past few months, several African nations, as well as Brazil and China, have offered their visions for achieving peace between Kiev and Moscow.  

Kiev, too, has presented its own plan, which, among other things, calls for the unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, reparations, and a tribunal for suspected war criminals.   

Moscow dismissed the plan as being detached from reality. Russian officials have also cited as proof of Ukraine’s unwillingness to negotiate a decree signed by President Vladimir Zelensky last October that rules out talks for as long as Putin remains in power.   

When representatives of the two belligerents did sit down for negotiations in late February and March of last year in Istanbul, Ukraine ended up pulling out of the talks in early April.   

Ukrainian officials cited alleged war crimes committed by retreating Russian troops in Kiev’s suburbs of Bucha and Irpen as the reason for abandoning the negotiation process. Moscow has denied these claims.


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