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Erdogan: Ukraine and Russia close to compromise on 4 issues out of 6

Friday, 25 March 2022, 14:28
Erdogan: Ukraine and Russia close to compromise on 4 issues out of 6

  Denys Karlovsky – Friday, 25 March 2022, 15:28

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey said that Ukraine is ready to agree to 4 out of Russia’s 6 demands – in particular, to renounce NATO membership and recognise Russian as the second official language.

 Source: Anadolu, Turkish state media, citing Erdogan’s comment

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According to Erdogan: "I think that there is consensus regarding four key negotiation issues. The first one concerns Ukraine’s accession to NATO. At first Ukraine insisted on NATO membership, but eventually Zelenskyy began talking about the possibility of not joining NATO.

The second issue concerns the recognition of the Russian language as the second official language [in Ukraine]. Zelenskyy agreed to this. Russian is already spoken across the majority of Ukraine. There are no problems in this regard."

Details: The Turkish President said that Ukraine was ready to make certain concessions with respect to the third issues, "demilitarisation,". At the same time, he added that this is no way implies a complete disarmament of Ukraine.

The next – fourth – issue concerns collective security. According to Erdogan, Ukraine demonstrated a "positive approach" on this issue.

However, Erdogan stated that Ukraine is refusing to consider the fifth and sixth issues, namely the recognition of the Russian occupation of Crimea and of the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The Turkish President said that Zelenskyy is allegedly considering the possibility of a referendum regarding the independence of Donbas. Erdogan also criticised the Western leaders for their lack of determination in condemning the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014.

Turkish government representatives, including Erdogan himself and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, maintain close contact with both Ukraine and the Russian Federation, and continue to try to mediate the peace negotiations.

Background:

  • After a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels, Erdogan said he would call Zelenskyy and then Putin.
  • On 19 March, Erdogan’s adviser Ibrahim Kalin voiced 6 Russian demands to Ukraine and said that Putin did not want to hold personal talks with Zelenskyy at that moment.
  • Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said that, following Putin’s telephone conversation with Erdogan, Russia was not against Zelenskyy having personal talks with Putin.
  • On 17 March, Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Putin asking him to help reach a ceasefire agreement.
  • On 10 March, Turkey initiated a tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, which took place in Antalya. However, the talks did not result in any progress on the issue of the truce.

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