Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that from the first day of the war that Russia launched against Ukraine on February 24, Ankara made great efforts to stop the bloodshed and prevent loss of life and destruction.
Erdogan said this on October 6 at a press conference following the summit of the European Political Community in Prague (Czech Republic), he was quoted by the website of the President of Turkey.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that Turkey could be in a position where both countries can talk to both sides and trust each other. During our contacts today, many European leaders spoke about Turkey’s actions. While unacceptable developments on the ground complicate our work, we will continue efforts, believing that even the worst peace is better than war,” Erdogan said.
The President of Turkey called the opening of the “grain corridor” and the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia “an important diplomatic success”.
Erdogan on September 29 during a telephone conversation called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to give negotiations with Ukraine “another chance.”
On September 11, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov noted that the conditions under which Ukraine would agree to start negotiations with Russia had changed – Kyiv is now not considering the possibility of negotiations if the Russian troops are withdrawn only to positions until February 24, when a full-scale invasion began. We are talking about the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine as of 1991.
- Turkey actively offers the services of an intermediary in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia and provides diplomatic support. Thus, Erdogan proposed to organize a meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky back in November 2021, before the full-scale invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine.
- On September 20, 2022, Erdogan said that Turkey is making efforts to end the war unleashed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine by protecting the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine.
- Turkey facilitated the largest prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia on 21 September. In total, 205 Ukrainians and 10 foreigners who fought on the side of Ukraine were released. Russia was handed over 55 Russian servicemen and the people’s deputy of Ukraine, Putin’s godfather Viktor Medvedchuk, who is suspected of treason.
- Putin on September 30, during his speech on the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories, demanded that Ukraine cease fire and immediately sit down at the negotiating table, while excluding that the return of its territories to Ukraine would be on the agenda.
- Zelensky, reacting to Putin’s signing of “agreements” on the “entry” of the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories into the Russian Federation, said that Ukraine wants to reach an agreement with the Russian Federation, but this is impossible with the current president. “He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president,” he said.
- On October 4, Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, adopted on September 30, which officially stated “the impossibility of holding negotiations with Putin.”