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Erdogan Says Putin Is Ready To End Ukraine War “As Soon As Possible”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that in order to achieve peace in Ukraine, Russia will have to return the occupied territories in the country. In addition, he has stated in an interview that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, would be ready to end the war with Ukraine “as soon as possible”.

In an interview with the American channel PBS, the Turkish president assures that he discussed the war at length with Putin at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), held last week in the Uzbek city of Samarkand. “In Uzbekistan I met with President Putin and we had very extensive discussions. And he has shown me that he is willing to end this as soon as possible. That was my impression, because the way things are going at the moment is quite problematic,” the Turkish president said, possibly referring to the rapid progress the Ukrainian army is making in its offensive in the east and south of the country. .

Expressly asked if “Russia should be allowed to keep part of the territories it has taken since it invaded Ukraine”, Erdogan is blunt: “No, without a doubt, no”. And he adds: “When we talk about a reciprocal agreement, that is what we mean. If peace is to be established in Ukraine, of course the return of the territory that was invaded will be very important. That is what is expected, that is what is wanted. Putin has taken certain steps, we [Turquía] We have taken certain steps.” “The territories that were invaded will be returned to Ukraine,” he states bluntly.

Asked specifically about the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, he says he has talked about it with his “dear friend” Putin ever since and has “asked for Crimea to be returned to its rightful owners,” the Tatars and the Ukrainians. , but regrets that since then no steps have been taken in this direction.

Erdogan shows his desire for the war to end with “a reciprocal agreement” and assures that he does not want to take sides, but stresses that nothing justifies the Russian invasion, that Moscow must abandon the invaded territory and defended the territorial unity of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders.

Asked if Putin was wrong to invade Ukraine, Erdogan replies: “No leader would say after the fact that it was a mistake, that he was wrong.”

Regarding the accusations against the Russian Army of having caused massacres during the invasion, Erdogan points out that there have also been pro-Russian civilian victims and that the United Nations should be the body that determines what happened, and stresses: “We cannot take sides. And it wouldn’t be right for us to do that.”

Turkey maintains good relations with both Ukraine and Russia, and Erdogan justifies this by explaining that if an agreement is reached that ends the war, it must satisfy the parties involved.

“We are not going to reach that conclusion (of the war) by taking sides. We are not going to defend a single leader. But instead we have to seek a conclusion that satisfies all parties involved,” he maintained.

At the recent summit in Samarkand, Putin acknowledged that China and India had expressed “concerns” about the war in Ukraine launched by Moscow on February 24. Putin told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the summit that he will do everything he can to bring the conflict in Ukraine to an end as soon as possible. “I know his position on the conflict in Ukraine and the concerns he frequently expresses. We will do everything to make it end as soon as possible,” Putin told Modi at a meeting in the Uzbek city. The head of the Kremlin assured that it is Ukraine that refuses to negotiate with Russia. (EFE)

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