Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan calls for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine on phonecall to Putin tonight ahead of countries meeting in Istanbul for talks to end the war
- Turkish president Erdoğan spoke to Putin about a potential ceasefire in Ukraine
- In a statement he said Istanbul was chosen as a neutral location for peace talks
- He also discussed improving the humanitarian situation in Ukraine with Putin
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin today where he stressed the need for a ceasefire in Ukraine, his office said.
The two leaders agreed the next meeting between Russian and Ukrainian officials should be held in Istanbul though it did not give a time frame.
Erdogan also called for an improvement to the humanitarian situation in the region, according to the statement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured) has said he spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin and stressed the need for a ceasefire in Ukraine to him
President Vladimir Putin (pictured) agreed with Erdogan that the next peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian should be held in Istanbul
Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said the next round of face-to-face talks between Ukraine and Russia will take place in Turkey on March 28-30.
While Russia’s chief negotiator said the in-person talks would begin on Tuesday.
This week Erdogan said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s comments on the need for a referendum for compromises with Russia was ‘smart leadership’.
Speaking to reporters on a return flight from a NATO summit in Brussels, The Turkish president said his country could not impose sanctions on Russia due to its energy needs and cooperation.
President Volodymyr Zelensky (pictured) said on Monday any compromises agreed with Russia to end the war would need to be voted upon in a referendum
Self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic leader, Leonid Pasechnik (pictured), said the region may hold a referendum to join Russia in the future
A Ukrainian military chief has said that Putin is trying to split Ukraine in two, as separatists in rebel-held Luhansk say they will hold referendum on joining Russia.
In talks with Ukraine, Moscow has urged it to acknowledge Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea and the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, said it may hold a referendum in the near future.
However Ukraine said that any such vote would have no legal basis and vowed a ‘total’ guerrilla warfare to prevent the country splitting in two.
‘In fact, it is an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine,’ Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, said in a statement, referring to the division of Korea after World War Two.
Russia has supported the separatist rebels in Luhansk and the neighbouring Donetsk regions since an insurgency erupted there in 2014 shortly after Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
Vladimir Putin last month recognised the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, where pro-Russian separatists began fighting Ukrainian forces in 2014, as ‘independent’.
Putin used the apparent protection of the two eastern Ukrainian regions as a pretext to start their barbaric invasion on Ukraine.
Ukraine has repeatedly said it will never agree to Russia’s annexation of its territory – the hardest part of peace talks with Moscow.
‘All fake referendums in the temporarily occupied territories are null and void and will have no legal validity,’ Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement to Reuters.
‘Instead, Russia will face an even stronger response from the international community, further deepening its global isolation.’