Turkish President Recep Erdogan assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that his government would not support Russia in its bid to gain recognition for its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. He made the comments during a state visit in Ankara by the Ukrainian leader .
“We stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We reiterated our principles decision not to recognize Crimea’s annexation. We said we support Ukraine’s initiative of the Crimean Platform geared to consolidate the international community around Crimea. We hope this initiative will yield positive results for all Crimean peoples, including Crimean Tatars, and for Ukraine,” he told a news conference after talks with Zelensky that was televised by TRT TV, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Russian President Putin and Erdogan have had a mixed relationship over the last decade. Turkey shot down a Russian jet in Syria in 2015, but Erdogan mended the relationship after Putin sanctioned Ankara and hurt Turkish tourism revenue. Turkey ended up buying the S-400 anti-aircraft missile defense system from Moscow which cost it access to the American F-35 stealth fighter aircraft. Turkey is a member of NATO.
Turkey and Russia have been at odds again in Norther Syria and Egypt, where the two great powers vie for influence and control.
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