Putin Schedules February Visit to Turkey for Talks with Erdogan on Ukraine

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.29 - 2024 3:05 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin Schedules February Visit to Turkey for Talks with Erdogan on Ukraine.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Turkey in February for a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, focusing on the situation in Ukraine among other topics, as reported by the Russian state-run media outlet TASS on Jan. 29 according to Kyiv Independent.

This visit, according to Yuri Ushakov, an advisor to Putin, marks a significant diplomatic engagement for the Russian leader.

Since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in March 2023 for Putin’s involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children, his international travels have been limited. Turkey, not being a signatory to the ICC's Rome Statute, has no legal obligation to arrest Putin, enabling this visit.

Turkey has emerged as a pivotal mediator in the Ukraine conflict, notably facilitating the grain deal in July 2022 that resumed maritime trade from Ukrainian ports. However, the deal collapsed in July 2023 following Russia's withdrawal, prompting Ankara to maintain communication with both Kyiv and Moscow regarding its restoration.

Erdogan's visit to Russia in September 2023, where he met with Putin, covered the grain deal and other issues. The upcoming talks in Turkey are expected to focus on Ukraine, including discussions on a potential peace settlement, as mentioned by Ushakov. However, specifics of the agenda were not disclosed.

Notably, direct peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia have been stalled since the unsuccessful talks in the spring of 2022. Ukraine insists that any discussions must be predicated on a complete Russian withdrawal.

Recently, Russia has indicated a willingness to consider a peace settlement, although skepticism prevails in the West and Ukraine about the genuineness of such negotiations. This skepticism is fueled by Putin's recent reaffirmation of his expansive objectives in the war, which have reportedly remained unchanged since February 2022.

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