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Kremlin says invitation to Erdogan to visit Crimea still in force

The Kremlin has commented on Erdogan’s concerns about the situation of Crimean Tatars

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. An invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Crimea is in force, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Commenting on Erdogan’s concerns about the situation of Crimean Tatars, the Kremlin spokesman said that Moscow did not share these concerns categorically. "We can’t agree with what is being said in this context. We have repeatedly said that any concerns regarding Crimean Tatars are groundless. President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin explained the real state of things [to the Turkish leader] more than once," Peskov said.

"President Erdogan has a valid invitation from President Putin to visit Crimea and see everything with his own eyes, to have, so to say, first-hand information," he noted.

At a meeting with public activists in Simferopol on March 18, 2019, the Russian president said he had invited his Turkish counterpart to attend the opening ceremony of the cathedral mosque in Crimea and the latter, according to Putin, had taken the invitation positively. The erection of the mosque began in Simferopol in October 2016 and its opening is planned for April 2020.