The “special military operation” that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has been carried out on Ukrainian territory since February 24, could be taking a new direction. This is what his Turkish counterpart wanted to make clear, Recep Tayyip Erdoganin an interview with the American channel PBS in which he affirms that Putin would be willing to put an end “as soon as possible” to the war in Ukraine.
On the occasion of the recent summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, the Turkish president claimed that he and Putin had “very extensive discussions”: “He has shown me that he is willing to end this as soon as possible.. That was my impression, because the way things are going at the moment is quite problematic,” the Turkish president said.
Erdogan has expressed his desire to end the war in Ukraine with “a reciprocal agreement” that defends the territorial unity of Ukraine. “If peace is to be established in Ukraine, of course, the return of the invaded territory will be very important. This is to be expected,” she notes.
Turkey’s president has discussed with Russia since 2014 the return of the Crimean peninsula, which has a significant population of the Tatar minority. “We ask (Putin) to return Crimea to its owners,” he said, although he acknowledged that “unfortunately, no steps forward have been achieved.”
The Turkish president has also indicated that kyiv and Moscow “will exchange 200 hostages by prior agreement”, without giving further details. Asked if Putin was wrong to invade Ukraine, Erdogan replies: “No leader would say after the fact that it was a mistake, that he was wrong.”
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On the other hand, he reiterated that “no invasion can be justified” and has shown its support for the United Nations to investigate the allegations of alleged atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, including the discovery of mass graves and “torture chambers” in the city of Izium, located in the Kharkov region (east) .
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