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Turkey can organize Putin-Zelensky talks, Erdogan’s spokesman says

Turkey has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Ibrahim Kalin said
Spokesman for the Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin AP Photo/Emrah Gurel
Spokesman for the Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin
© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

ANKARA, December 4. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can arrange talks between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine - Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky, Ibrahim Kalin, Spokesman for the Turkish president, said on Saturday.

"Turkey has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, so we neither approve nor support any conflict between those two countries, and try to reach a goal of reducing tensions," he said in an interview with Anadolu Agency.

"Many Western countries do not have constructive direct relations with Russia, but Turkey holds this special position," Erdogan’s spokesman said. "Turkey can certainly play a part if both of the sides are positive about it. Our president can take a constructive step for de-escalation by arranging a meeting between Putin and Zelensky."

On Friday, Putin said in a telephone conversation with Erdogan that Ukraine was pushing ahead with its destructive policy of disrupting the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which can be seen in the Ukrainian military’s provocative activities in the area of the conflict, including the use of Bayraktar attack drones that had been supplied to Kiev by Ankara. As the intra-Ukrainian crisis was discussed, it was stressed that it was essential to fully and strictly abide by the package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2015, and other agreements, including those concluded in the Normandy format.

Turkey stands against the processes that may help unleash armed confrontation and war in Donbass, Turkish Presidential Spokesman said.

"We are against the processes which might lead to military conflict and war in the region, including Donbass, we have always reiterated it. Both of the sides have certain areas of responsibility to reduce tensions. There are steps Russia should take and there are steps Ukraine should take. Also, there are steps NATO and Western bloc countries should take. In other words, this should not turn into an escalation of tensions through provocations," Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said in an interview with Anadolu Agency.

"The conflict will make everyone suffer. Ukraine has already been severely affected by those recent conflicts. Thousands of people have suffered in Donbass, so we are ready to support all the steps to alleviate tensions. If Turkey acts as a mediator or initiator of this process, our president will be pleased to take part in it," Kalin added.

In the meantime, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces earlier confirmed that the Ukrainian military had for the first time used a Bayraktar drone of Turkish manufacture in Donbass on October 26.

Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday that strike drones are banned by the Minsk agreements as well as by the additional ceasefire control measures approved in July 2020. The German and French foreign ministries voiced their concern following reports that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had used a Bayraktar drone.

The Bayraktar TB2 is a Turkish-made strike drone with a 150 km-range capability, an operating speed of 130 km/h and a 50 kg payload. It is furnished with an automatic take-off and landing system. In 2019, Kiev purchased and tested Bayraktar drones that are intended to be furnished with MAM-L precision air bombs produced by the Turkish company Roketsan. According to unofficial data, the deal was worth $69 million.