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Putin Warned Erdogan Not To Back Ukraine’s Provocations

April 10 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Russia’s President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone yesterday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one day before today’s visit to Turkey of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to a statement issued by the Kremlin press service, they discussed bilateral relations, the situation in Ukraine, Libya and Syria. Putin also expressed his concern that the Montreux Convention that regulates shipping through the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits, be maintained, in reaction to Erdogan’s intention to build a canal to bypass the Bosporus, and to possibly use it to close off the Bosporus passage.

“In regards to Turkey’s plans for construction of the Istanbul Canal, Russia emphasized the importance of preservation of the 1936 Montreux Convention in order to ensure the regional stability and safety of the regional Black Sea straits regime,” the statement said, reported TASS.

Putin also stated his concern about provocative actions on the part of Kiev:

“At President Erdogan’s request, Vladimir Putin described Russia’s approaches to resolving the domestic crisis in Ukraine. President Putin emphasized that the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures has no alternative as a foundation for a settlement. He expressed concern that Ukraine is dodging the implementation of the Minsk agreements and has recently resumed dangerous provocations on the contact line,”

stated the Kremlin report.

Earlier, Erdogan’s office announced that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would visit Turkey on April 10 to attend the 9th meeting of the Turkey-Ukraine High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council. Zelensky was in Istanbul last October, where he signed defense cooperation agreements involving Ukraine’s purchase of Turkish military drones, and building warships for Turkey in Ukrainian shipyards.

On Libya, both Russia and Turkey “the two leaders were pleased to note the observance of a ceasefire by the sides and the successful formation of transitional government bodies. They reaffirmed their reciprocal desire to facilitate the peace process and the restoration of national unity.” On Syria they spoke “the important role of Russia and Turkey in stabilizing the situation and facilitating inter-Syrian talks. They noted the topicality of joint efforts to counter terrorism, particularly in Idlib Province, in line with the provisions of the 2018 Sochi Memorandum and the relevant Additional Protocol of March 5, 2020.”

The Russian statement did not say who initiated the call, but one might assume that it was the Russian side.

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