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25 Aug, 2021 11:24

Turkey’s refusal to recognize Crimean Peninsula as Russian is now main thorn in side of partnership between two nations – Kremlin

Turkey’s refusal to recognize Crimean Peninsula as Russian is now main thorn in side of partnership between two nations – Kremlin

Despite blossoming ties between Moscow and Ankara, relations now risk being derailed by Turkey’s decision to back Ukraine’s claims over the status of Crimea, after the country sent its top diplomat to Kiev in a show of support.

That’s according to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who expressed concern that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu participated in the ‘Crimean Summit’ forum on Monday. The meeting was held to discuss how best Ukraine can re-assert control over the peninsula, which was reabsorbed into Russia in 2014.

“Russian-Turkish relations as a whole are about partnership, not only in name, but genuinely based on a real and solid foundation of trade, economic and investment activity,” Peskov said. “But this does not mean that this relationship is free from significant disagreements.”

“The Crimean topic is the area of significant disagreement. We do not accept the position of our Turkish colleagues and we consider it absolutely wrong,” the Kremlin official added.

Launching the ‘Crimean Platform’ on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the day would be remembered as “the start of the de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.”

Also on rt.com Ukraine CAN retake Crimea if West supports claims, Kiev insists, as Zelensky blasts ‘reluctant’ foreign leaders ‘afraid’ of Russia

“The countdown to the liberation of the peninsula,” he added, has already begun, and “pressure from foreign dignitaries will force Russia to sit down at the negotiating table.”

However, at the same time, Zelensky expressed frustration at the lack of top-tier diplomatic representation from countries that nominally support Kiev’s claims. The Baltic nations, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Moldova announced they would be sending their presidents, but most other European nations dispatched foreign ministers instead. Germany and the US elected to send energy ministers in their place.

“Many leaders are very afraid,” the Ukrainian leader blasted. “You know all the leaders who support Ukraine... sympathize with this cause. But for the Crimean Platform, we invited these leaders to attend. And so you can see they are afraid, they are afraid of Russia... This must be recognized,” he said.

Crimea was reabsorbed by Russia in 2014 after a peninsula-wide vote that most countries across the world refuse to recognize. Moscow insists that the region is its sovereign territory and, under the terms of new amendments to the country’s constitution, can never be traded away.

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