ANKARA, April 12. /TASS/. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he believed that only Ankara was capable of helping to reach progress in the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
"Today, Turkey is the only country capable of maintaining close relations with both sides… and provide for reaching certain progress by means of uniting the opposing sides," Erdogan said speaking after a session of the country’s Cabinet of Ministers in Ankara earlier in the day.
According to Erdogan, Turkey "deeply feels the consequences of the Russian and Ukrainian crisis, particularly in regard to prices on food and energy supplies."
"We cannot prevent the exponential price hike on oil and natural gas," he said. "We are seriously worried with the growth of prices on raw materials used in the food industry."
President Putin said earlier in the day that Kiev drove negotiations with Moscow into a dead end again by deviating from the agreements reached during the Istanbul round.
The Russian-Ukrainian negotiations kicked off on February 28 with several meetings between the two delegations held in Belarus. Later, the negotiators continued contacts by way of videoconferencing. On March 29, a new face-to-face round of talks was held in Istanbul.
Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine. The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.