Turkey could play ‘mediator role’ in Russia-Ukraine crisis: Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 29 that Turkey could play a mediation role to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine after the seizure of three Ukrainian ships by Moscow sparked a major crisis.
“Here we could take on a mediator role and we have discussed this with both sides,” Erdoğan told reporters at Istanbul Atatürk Airport before heading to the G-20 summit in Argentina.
His comments came after intense telephone diplomacy on Nov. 28 which saw Erdoğan hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.
Erdoğan also talked to U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Both Mr. Putin and Mr. Poroshenko in our talks made requests. We will convey the [Ukrainian] demands to Mr. Putin in our meeting in Argentina,” added Erdoğan, saying the issue would also be discussed in his talks with Trump in Buenos Aires.
Turkey is keen not to see any further escalation in the conflict between its fellow Black Sea littoral states which could bring further instability to the region.
Ankara is working closely with Moscow on the Syria conflict and is also purchasing Russian S-400 missile air defense systems.