According to a statement by Türkiye’s Communications Directorate, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated Türkiye’s willingness to play a facilitator role to help end the war in Ukraine and called on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to give negotiations with Ukraine another chance.
During the talk, Erdogan also expressed pleasure over the successful Moscow-Kyiv prisoner swap as well as the functionality of the Istanbul deal on grain exports.
Extension of the grain export deal is a common interest, the Turkish president said on the grain export mechanism which will expire in November, and added that efforts also continue on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement on July 22 in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN was set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.
Erdogan pointed out the need for steps to reduce tensions in the region and said Russia is expected to take steps, particularly on the annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions.
The Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson held referendums Sept. 23-27 on joining Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that more than 98% voted in favor of joining Russia.
The polls have been widely condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US calling them “sham” and saying they will not be recognized.