SPONSORED:

Turkey's Erdoğan calls for end to 'worrying escalation' between Russia and Ukraine

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for an end to the "worrying escalation" at the border between Russia and Ukraine.

Erdoğan made the call at a news conference alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after meeting with his counterpart for three hours, Reuters reported.

Erdoğan added that Turkey was ready to provide "any support necessary" if the escalation in conflict between the two countries does not subside, Reuters reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We hope for the worrying escalation observed on the field recently to end as soon as possible, the ceasefire to continue and for the conflict to be resolved via dialogue on the basis of the Minsk agreements,” Erdoğan said. “We are ready to provide any support necessary for this.”

The comment comes amid renewed fighting between Ukraine and Russia in the eastern part of Ukraine near the border. Fighting began last month between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian soldiers, ending a cease-fire made last summer.

Since then, Russia has increased its military presence in the area. 

The Kremlin has also threatened to breach the border, with a Russian official stating last week that the country would be ready to defend citizens living in eastern Ukraine. 

Turkey, a NATO member, said on Friday that the U.S. will send two warships to the Black Sea next week that are expected to arrive from Wednesday to Thursday.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby didn’t confirm the movement however, and said it often sends ships to the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ukrainian Defense Minister Andrii Taran said on Saturday that Moscow was trying to pressure Kiev to cave negotiations by ramping up its military presence at the border, but added that Ukraine would not back down.

“[T]he actual goals of building up of military presence by the Russian Federation alongside the Ukrainian border and at the temporary occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, might be the increase of pressure on Ukraine for the purpose of forcing it to yield in the course of the negotiation process,” Taran said in a statement Saturday.

--Updated on April 11 at 6:19 a.m.