Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has called support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine a matter of principle for Turkey.
As reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the statement came as Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart.
Kuleba thanked Çavuşoğlu for the firm position of non-recognition of the attempts by Russia to legitimize the temporary occupation of Crimea, as well as for the strong support of the Crimean Platform initiative.
"Ukraine is grateful to Turkey for its adherence to principles in the Crimea issue. Kyiv and Ankara are unanimous in understanding that Crimea is Ukraine. It was, is, and will be. Attempts to legitimize the temporary Russian occupation of the peninsula are doomed to failure," Kuleba stressed.
Read also Ukraine's MFA: Russian militarization behind lack of water in occupied Crimea In turn, Çavuşoğlu confirmed Turkey's unconditional support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, assured that the Turkish side is ready to take part in the Crimean Platform summit on August 23 this year and its further work.
He noted that support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia are not only an old and consistent policy of Ankara, but also a matter of principle for Turkey.
The parties also discussed the implementation of the agreements of the heads of state at the Ninth Meeting of the Ukraine-Turkey High-Level Strategic Council, which was held in Istanbul on April 10.
Separately, the parties discussed preparations for the Diplomatic Forum set to be held in Antalya this June and the International Conference on Reforms in Ukraine, which will take place in Vilnius on July 7-8.
The heads of Ukrainian and Turkish diplomacy paid special attention to the security situation in the Middle East. Kuleba noted the important contribution of Ankara's diplomatic efforts in ending the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The diplomats stressed the need for further consolidated efforts by the international community in order to prevent bloodshed and ensure a sustainable settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, the statement said.
Ukraine-Turkey relations amid Russian aggression
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said he opposes Turkey's pledge to boost cooperation with Ukraine, claiming that it attempts to fuel "militaristic sentiment."
- This comes following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan move last month to pledge support to Kyiv amid a buildup of Russian forces along its border with Ukraine.
- Turkey, along with the rest of NATO, criticized Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and voiced support for Ukraine's territorial integrity as Kyiv's forces battle Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.
- Turkey has also sold strike drones to Kyiv in 2019.
Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko