Turkey and Ukraine, Erdoğan and Zelensky

Erdoğan and Zelensky talk about the situation of the war in Ukraine

Zelensky, who has warned that Putin’s nuclear threat is real, thanked Turkey for its help in the conflict with Russia.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky held a telephone conversation on Wednesday in which both addressed the latest developments regarding the war in Ukraine and the situation of the conflict, especially after the holding of the referendum organized by Russia to annex the conquered Ukrainian territories.

According to a statement released by the Turkish president’s communications office, during the conversation Erdoğan conveyed to Zelensky his joy at having achieved the recent prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia after significant negotiating efforts by Ankara.

The Turkish president also highlighted the good functioning of the agreement to export grain signed last July with the mediation of Turkey and the UN, and stressed that a similar agreement could be adopted with regard to the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, insisting in that Turkey wants to play a mediating and facilitating role in creating a demilitarized zone around the atomic plant.

Erdoğan, who reiterated Turkey’s desire to continue with the important mediation efforts to achieve a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict, also referred to the holding of referendums on accession to Russia in several Ukrainian territories, in which the consultations organized by Moscow would have supposedly obtained 97% of votes in favor. In this regard, the Turkish president – whose government has condemned these referendums – considered this initiative as an obstacle on the road to peace.

For his part, Zelensky thanked Erdoğan for the mediating role he is playing in the war in Ukraine and for all the aid provided by Turkey, both humanitarian and military. Zelensky, who delivered a speech yesterday before the UN Security Council in which he assured that “Russia has no right to possess nuclear weapons, because it is simply not capable of guaranteeing the security of the world”, has expressed his concern about the possibility of Moscow using atomic weapons against Ukraine, warning that Putin’s threat is real.