why does the Turkish president want to “reconcile” Ukraine and Russia, and what does Crimea have to do with it

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he would come to Ukraine in early February. According to him, he hopes to quickly bring together Presidents of Ukraine and Russiato stop the growth of tension in the Black Sea region. Who does Turkey support in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and why? What is Turkey’s interest in the Black Sea region? Read about it in the article Krym.Realii.

I will have a visit to Ukraine. We hope that peace will reign in the region

“At the beginning of next month (in February – KR) I will have a visit to Ukraine. We hope that peace will reign in the region,” the Turkish President said. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During a recent visit to Albania, he told reporters that he constantly reminds the Russian president Vladimir Putinthat “Turkey is against the occupation of Crimea.”

The Turkish president also warned Moscow against a new invasion of Ukraine and said he did not consider it a “realistic option.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin (left to right) during a meeting in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, April 2019

Former Speaker of the President of Turkey Ibrahim Kalin reported that Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Presidents of Ukraine and Russia and invited Vladimir Zelensky and Vladimir Putin for a meeting in Turkey.

Turkey remains available for any role… to reduce tensions between Russia and Ukraine

According to Kalin, Erdogan is going to visit Ukraine “in the coming weeks.”

Erdogan’s spokesman said Turkey was ready to play a role in reducing tensions between Russia and Ukraine in order to “avoid any military action, the consequences of which would be significant and irreversible.”

“Turkey remains available for any role … to reduce tensions between Russia and Ukraine … And we do this as a country friendly to Russia and Ukraine, as well as a NATO ally,” Kalin said.

On January 21, the Turkish leader noted that he was “ready for anything to bring peace to the region.” He said he was ready meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow “to ease the growing tensions around Ukraine.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (from right to left) during a meeting in Sochi, Russia, September 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (from right to left) during a meeting in Sochi, Russia, September 2021

Speaker of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov stated that “one can only welcome” if the Turkish partners “can push Kiev to implement the Minsk agreements.”

We are talking about the Russian scenario of their implementation – direct elections in the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions not controlled by Ukraine, which are opposed by many Ukrainian experts, activists, volunteers and government officials.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposal to hold talks between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia is “thought out”, but rests on the fact that Russia “does not have confidence in its rightness, therefore it is in a blind position”, said Advisor to the Office of the President of Ukraine Mikhail Podolyak.

Head of the Ukrainian Center for Middle East Studies Igor Semivolos on the air Radio Krym.Realii doubted that the initiative of the President of Turkey would lead to a meeting of the heads of Ukraine and Russia. He believes that Turkey is trying to change the balance of power in the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine and Western countries.

Igor Semivolos

Igor Semivolos

Apparently, Erdogan will be as persistent as Russia. This means that the situation and the balance may change

We are dealing with a strategic game. It suggests that the balance of power must be shifted so that the opposite side sees you and begins to reckon with you. Now we see that Russia does not want to reckon with Turkey. Therefore, Turkey needs to become so visible and tangible for Russia that it cannot ignore it. Erdogan saw a window of opportunity for himself here and will try to enter it. Apparently, Erdogan will be as persistent as Russia. This means that the situation and the balance may change. Much will depend on the decisions of Erdogan, NATO and the United States. This is not a two-sided game, but a multi-sided one.

Head of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Eskender Bariev believes that Russia’s response to the Turkish proposal will depend on its relations with the West.

Eskender Bariev

Eskender Bariev

The messages from the President of Turkey are very important, first of all, for Ukraine. She gets rear from Turkey

– Considering Turkey’s regional interests in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, its position is important and necessary. Another question is how far this will go (negotiations with the President of Ukraine on the proposal of the President of Turkey – KR) Russia. It depends on how the processes between Russia, the United States and Western countries will continue. Russia can accept this proposal only in one case: when there is a hopeless situation in its relations with the countries of the West. Russia is taking steps to initiate direct global-level talks with the US. Therefore, today the messages from the President of Turkey are very important, first of all, for Ukraine. She receives rear from Turkey.

According to Eskender Bariev, in addition to the initiative to negotiate between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Turkish representatives “are doing serious work” to release Ukrainian political prisoners held in Crimea and neighboring Russia.

Turkish political scientist Togrul Ismail says that Turkey will initiate negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, acting on the principle “any agreement is better than war.” Turkey, according to him, is not interested in the conflict in the Black Sea region, since “any crisis will entail economic damage for it.”

Togrul Ismail calls the response of the Russian authorities to the proposal of Recep Tayyip Erdogan “positive” and admits that further “it will be possible to count on different options.”

Annexation of Crimea by Russia

In February 2014, armed men in unmarked uniforms seized the building of the Verkhovna Rada of the ARC, the Council of Ministers of the ARC, as well as the Simferopol airport, the Kerch ferry crossing, and other strategic facilities, and also blocked the actions of Ukrainian troops. The Russian authorities initially refused to acknowledge that these armed men were members of the Russian army. Russian President Vladimir Putin later admitted that they were Russian military.

On March 16, 2014, an unrecognized “referendum” on the status of the peninsula, unrecognized by most countries of the world, was held on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, as a result of which Russia included Crimea in its composition. Neither Ukraine, nor the European Union, nor the United States recognized the results of the voting in the “referendum”. On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.

International organizations recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions. Russia denies the annexation of the peninsula and calls it “the restoration of historical justice.” The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially announced February 20, 2014 as the start date for the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia.

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