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Turkish President Erdogan to Visit Ukraine

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Turkish President Erdogan to Visit Ukraine

Turkish President Erdogan to Visit Ukraine
Photo: UNIAN

Turkish President Recep Erdogan arrives in Kyiv today to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

The purpose of Erdogan’s state visit is to finalize the much-anticipated free-trade deal amidst Ukraine’s heated border stand-off with Russia. While Erdogan has previously offered to mediate the conflict, Turkey’s role has been somewhat ambiguous. Although Erdogan has pledged to stand in solidarity with Ukraine, Turkey continues to engage in sizable natural gas and security deals with Moscow.

In today’s conference, Erdogan is expected to reaffirm his support for the Ukrainian government and call for de-escalation of tensions.

Moving forward, Ankara will strive to maintain amicable relations with both Kyiv and Moscow. Ankara’s short-term policies will likely encompass a wait-and-see approach, refraining from making promises or commitments to any parties unilaterally. The success of Ankara’s plan, however, is uncertain. Moscow—which has previously expressed contempt regarding Turkish-made drones targeting pro-Russian separatists in Donbas— will decry Ankara’s push to sign an FTA with the Ukrainian government. In addition to increasing the bilateral trade volume target up to $10 billion, the FTA will boost the defense cooperation between Kyiv and Ankara during the long-term.

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