Turkish top diplomat, defense chief in Kiev for talks with top Ukrainian officials
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar paid a two-day visit to Ukraine for talks on ongoing cooperation in the fields of security, economy, trade and regional developments.
Çavuşoğlu and Akar were received by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denis Shmygal late Dec. 18 and held meetings with their counterparts in the format of 2+2 on Dec. 19 in Kiev, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Recalling that Turkey and Ukraine have been enjoying a strategic partnership since 2011 and perfect relations, Akar said, expressing his satisfaction by the improvement of ties through frequent high-level meetings. The defense minister reiterated Turkey’s continued support to Ukraine’s integration with the Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Akar has also mentioned the ongoing cooperation in the field of the defense industry and stressed accelerating this partnership will be to both countries’ interests.
Çavuşoğlu, for his part, underlined that the free trade agreement with Ukraine will help two countries to increase the trade volume from the current $5 billion to $10 billion.
Çavuşoğlu also had talks with Mustafa Kırımoğlu, the leader of Crimean Tatars, First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar and deputies Rüstem Umerov and Ahtem Ciygoz. “[We] will not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea. [We] will always stand by our Crimean Tatar Turkish brothers and sisters,” he said on Twitter.
In the meantime, the Turkish Defense Industry Presidency (SSB) said Ukraine will strengthen its navy with Ada-class corvettes thanks to a new agreement between the two countries
“Defense industry cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine continues to rise,” the SSB wrote on Twitter. The defense officials of the two countries signed agreements on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and Ada-class corvettes during a visit to the capital Kiev by İsmail Demir, the SSB’s head.
Under the procurement deal, Ukraine aims to strengthen its navy in order to boost security in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.