Russia is willing to end the conflict in Ukraine as soon as possible, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told PBS in an interview on Monday.
Asked by a PBS reporter how quickly he saw the conflict ending, the Turkish leader said “most importantly, Russian attitude will be very, very important here.”
“In Uzbekistan, I got together with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, and we had very extensive discussions with him,” Erdogan said in the interview. According to Erdogan, the Russian leader showed him “that he’s willing to end this as soon as possible.”.
“The way things are going right now are quite problematic,” PBS quoted the Turkish president as saying. “I think a significant step will be taken forward.” “All <…> what we want to see is to end this battle with peace,” he concluded.
The presidents of Russia and Turkey held talks on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan last Friday. Putin said after the talks that Erdogan had not suggested organizing negotiations with Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. The Turkish president is making a serious contribution to normalization efforts, including moves to settle the food crisis, Putin emphasized.
On February 24, Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation. Following this, the US, the EU, the UK, and a number of other countries announced sweeping sanctions against Russia. In addition, the West stepped up billions of dollars worth of arms deliveries to Kiev.