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Turkey’s Erdogan pushes ceasefire in call with Putin

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan pressed for a ceasefire and better humanitarian conditions during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.

Erdogan’s office said he “noted the importance of a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, the implementation of peace and the improvement of humanitarian conditions in the region,” Reuters reported

Erdogan’s office also said that the next round of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia would take place in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said earlier on Sunday that the next round of talks would begin on Monday. 

On Friday, Erdogan told reporters that he planned on asking Putin to make an “honorable exit” out of Ukraine during their call, which comes amid mounting concern that the Russian leaders could turn to chemical or biological weapons as the invasion stalls.

“We have to look for a way to smooth this business by saying ‘make an honorable exit to this,'” he said according to CNN. “On the other hand, we [Turkey] certainly consider the use of weapons of mass destruction as a crime against humanity.”

Last week, Erdogan told reporters that Ukraine and Russia were in agreement when it came to technical issues, but remained divided regarding territorial disputes such as Crimea. He said the negotiators had been able to reach an agreement on four out of the six main issues brought up during the peace talks.

Turkey, a member of NATO, has so far held off on issuing sanctions against Russia, with Erdogan saying such actions were impossible for his country due to its reliance on Russian energy. 

Tags Foreign policy of the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Russia–Turkey relations Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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