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Turkey’s President Erdogan Separately Phoned Putin and Zelenskyy

May 31, 2022 (EIRNS)—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone separately, yesterday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a continuing effort to cement Turkey’s role as mediator in the conflict between the two countries.

“Discussing the developments in Ukraine, they emphasized the need to ensure safe navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and to remove the threat of mines in these waters,” the Kremlin readout reported on the Erdogan-Putin call. “Vladimir Putin noted Russia’s willingness to facilitate unimpeded cargo shipping in coordination with its Turkish partners including grain shipments from Ukrainian ports.”

“Concerning problems in world food markets due to the financial and economic policies of the West, it was confirmed that Russia would export substantial amounts of fertilizers and agricultural produce if the relevant anti-Russia sanctions were lifted,” the readout stated.

According to the Turkish side, Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to continue its support, including mediatory efforts, to promote talks between Russia and Ukraine. “During the talks, President Erdogan said that Turkey has spared no effort to promote the continuation of talks between Ukraine and Russia and that Turkey is ready to continue all necessary support, including mediatory efforts,” the Turkish presidential office said, reported Anadolu. It that Erdogan also said that Turkey has a positive attitude to the participation in the work of a coordination center on Ukraine involving Russia, Ukraine, and the United Nations, which may meet in Istanbul. Erdogan suggested that a meeting between Russian, Ukrainian, and UN representatives be organized in that city.

Erdogan then put in his phone call to Zelenskyy, during which they discussed the conflict in Ukraine, continued peace negotiations, and the importance of establishing safe corridors. Turkey has made every effort to continue negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, and it is ready to provide more support, including mediation, Erdogan told Zelenskyy, according to a statement from Turkey’s Communications Directorate. Erdogan also said that his country attaches particular importance to establishing a safe corridor for exporting Ukrainian agricultural products by sea.

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