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Erdogan as mediator: Goes to Kiev to discuss crisis with Moscow

The Turkish president is going to Kiev today Recep Tayyip Erdogan to try to mediate between Ukraine and Russia, two of its allies, to de-escalate the crisis between them. Erdogan is scheduled to hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. whose country is threatened by the approximately 100,000 Russian soldiers who have gathered near its borders.

Although in power for almost 20 years, Erdogan is currently facing difficulties inside his country due to the severe economic crisis affecting Turkey and hopes to take advantage of the fact that his country is a member of NATO, but also good relations with Kiev, Ankara’s trading partner, to mediate the crisis and improve its profile.

“As a NATO member, we do not want a war between Russia and Ukraine that would bode well for the region,” the Turkish president said at the weekend, calling for a “peaceful solution” to the crisis.

“To pave the way for a return to peace”

Erdogan offered his services last week, proposing a meeting of its presidents Russia and Ukraine to Turkey, “in order to pave the way for a return to peace.”

So far, Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked Erdogan for his proposal, but added that he would respond “when the pandemic and his agenda allow.”

A Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that during his visit to Kiev, Erdogan would ask both sides to show restraint, adding that Ankara wanted to maintain co-operation with both “very important countries “, as broadcast by Reuters and Agence France-Presse and relayed by the Athenian News Agency.

Turkey-Ukraine agreements and trade

Erdogan is officially expected to attend an economic forum in Kiev, during which he and Zelensky will announce a series of agreements, including a free trade agreement. Trade between Turkey and Of Ukraine reached the first eleven months of 2021 at $ 6 billion.

Although cooperating with Russia on defense and energy issues, Turkey has opposed Moscow’s policies in Libya and Syria, as well as the annexation of Crimea in 2014. They have also sold drones to Ukraine, angering Russia.

The Turkish president needs to highlight his role as mediator and to overcome the internal difficulties faced by his government, but also in order to reheat his relations with the US, as Turkey has been marginalized in NATO after the purchase of the Russian system. S-400 missile defense.

But analysts say Moscow is not interested in Turkish mediation, as Putin wants Washington to treat him as an equal.

Source: News Beast

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