(Istanbul) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday by telephone that “Turkey will not recognize any measures affecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, reported the Turkish presidency.
The Turkish Head of State also announced that he intended to continue exploring diplomatic channels and underlined “that a military conflict will not bring anything to anyone”, according to the presidency, which did not specify the duration of the conversation between the two leaders.
“Turkey will not recognize any measure affecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said Erdogan, who pleaded for “a solution to be found on the basis of the Minsk Agreements” of 2014 and 2015, as the threat of a Russian offensive on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine grows.
The Minsk agreements, signed by Kiev and the separatists under the aegis of Paris, Berlin and Moscow, had made it possible to reduce the intensity of the conflict, which claimed more than 14,000 lives according to a latest UN report.
The Turkish head of state reaffirmed his “attachment to the pursuit of diplomatic contacts and talks” and assured that “Turkey is ready to do its part to reduce tension”.
For his part, Vladimir Putin emphasized, during this conversation, the “objective necessity of the decision taken in the face of the aggression of the Ukrainian authorities in the Donbass and their categorical refusal to implement the Minsk agreements the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders “agreed to continue contacts in different formats”, according to the same source.
Mr. Erdogan had already deemed “unacceptable” on Tuesday Moscow’s recognition of the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
However, on the plane that brought him back Tuesday evening from Senegal, the president made it clear that he did not intend to break with either of the two protagonists.
” It is not possible. We have political and military relations with Russia. We also have political, military and economic relations with Ukraine,” he told reporters accompanying him.
“We want the issue to be resolved without having to choose between the two,” he insisted.
Turkey, a member of NATO, is close to Kiev, to which it has sold military drones in particular.
But it is also very dependent on Moscow for its supplies of energy and grain, among other things.
It also acquired a Russian S-400 missile defense system.
As such, Mr. Erdogan offered his mediation to avoid a conflict between these two countries, which border the Black Sea like it.