Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees only two unsolved major disputes between Ukraine and Russia. These are the status of the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas and of the Crimean peninsula.
According to Erdogan, the warring parties can agree on the other four main points of contention. These are Ukraine’s previously envisaged membership of NATO, a partial demilitarization of Ukraine, security guarantees for Ukraine, and the Russian language status in Ukraine.
Erdogan praised his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky for his statement that a referendum should be held on a compromise with Russia. The Turkish president called that great leadership. However, it is not clear what kind of compromise Zelensky means.
Erdogan attended the NATO summit in Brussels. Turkey is a member of the alliance and has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine. Turkey is not participating in sanctions against Russia and is trying to mediate. Erdogan pointed out that his country needs energy from Russia.
“We buy almost half of our natural gas in Russia, and we are building a nuclear power station in Turkey together.” The plant, not far from the Mediterranean Sea, about 425 kilometres south of Ankara, should be completed in the coming years and will provide 10 percent of the country’s total energy needs.
Earlier this month, the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine met in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya. Erdogan said he would resume talks with Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days.