Topics of Putin, Erdogan phone call revealed
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the prospects of peace negotiations with Ukraine in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday.
According to a statement on the Kremlin’s website, Putin stressed “the destructive role of Western countries that supply the Kiev regime with weapons and military hardware, as well as provide it with military data and targeting information.”
Putin reiterated that Moscow is “open to serious dialogue” with Ukraine on condition that Kiev recognize “new territorial realities.” Russia has said in the past that Ukraine’s demand that Moscow surrender newly incorporated territories is a non-starter.
Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, together with the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, did the same after holding referendums on the matter in September.
Ankara has offered to broker negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the past. In the call with Putin on Thursday, Erdogan noted “positive results,” such as last year’s deal to allow shipments of grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, and a high-level prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine in September.
“The calls for peace and negotiations should be supported by a unilateral declaration of ceasefire and a vision of a just solution” of the conflict, Erdogan said, according to a statement from his office’s press service.
Turkish news agency Anadolu quoted Erdogan as saying after the call that Ankara is ready to help Russia export grain to poorer nations. “We are ready to process the grain into flour in Turkish companies and ship it to underdeveloped African countries,” he said. Russia, a major grain producer, has said that Western sanctions hamper its ability to ship food to poorer countries of Africa and Asia.
The leaders also discussed energy cooperation. The Kremlin said Putin and Erdogan noted that the creation of a regional gas hub and the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Türkiye are a “priority.” The plant is being built by Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear power agency.