“We are making efforts to end the conflicts in Ukraine as soon as possible through diplomacy,” RT Erdogan said at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in former Soviet Uzbekistan.
RT Erdogan is trying to use his good working relationship with Moscow to convince Putin to hold direct talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Turkey about a ceasefire.
RT Erdogan also echoed Putin’s concern that grain exported from Ukraine under a United Nations-Turkey-brokered deal reaches few developing countries. “We are sincerely trying to deliver grain to those who need it most, especially our brothers and sisters in Africa,” RT Erdogan said.
Later on Friday, RT Erdogan is due to meet privately with Putin on the sidelines of the Samarkand summit. As the war in Ukraine rages, NATO member Turkey supplies arms to Kyiv and seeks to strengthen trade ties with Russia. RT Erdogan assures that such a “balanced” position is necessary due to Turkey’s high dependence on Russian energy supplies.
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