War in Ukraine: What to remember from the meeting between Erdogan and Zelensky

Mr. Erdogan reiterated “his support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of (his) strategic ally Ukraine.”

“While continuing our solidarity with Ukraine, we will continue to work to end the war and support a just and negotiated peace,” he stressed.

NATO member Turkey has sought to maintain good relations with both Moscow and Kiev after Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. Mr. Erdogan presents himself as a mediator between the militants.

In the first weeks of the war, Turkey held peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, which failed. She believes she can revive them.

“Both parties have reached the limit of what can be gained by war,” Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said in early March, advocating the establishment of “a dialogue aimed at a ceasefire.”

Turkey's strategic position in the Black Sea and its control of the Bosphorus strait give it a unique military, political and economic role in the conflict.

Erdogan ends his term as Turkey's leader for the first time

In July 2022, Ankara participated with the UN in negotiating an agreement between Moscow and Kyiv on the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, which Russia ultimately withdrew a year later.

Kyiv has since launched another export route that skirts the coast and avoids disputed international waters.

Turkey, on the other hand, angered Moscow last year by allowing commanders of Moscow's ultranationalist Azov Brigade, dubbed the Bat Noir, to return to Ukraine.

During his visit, Mr. Zelensky visited shipyards where corvettes are built for “(his) navy” on Friday and was due to meet with Turkish contractors in the defense sector, according to the Ukrainian president.

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The meeting between M.M. Zelensky and Erdogan come a week after a visit to Turkey by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who spoke with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan at a diplomatic forum in Antalya.

The date of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Turkey is yet to be decided.

Relations between Turkey and Russia have been strained in the West, which accuses Ankara of helping Moscow circumvent Moscow's sanctions by exporting certain goods to Russia.

The United States has sanctioned several Turkish companies to help Moscow buy supplies that could be used by its armed forces.

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