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Erdogan visits Ukraine wishing to play mediator with Russia

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President Tayyip Erdogan visited his partner Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine on Thursday. It is a sign of Turkey playing as a mediator to ease tensions with Russia. An official said Erdogan was not picking any sides in the crisis.

On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hoped to play a mediating role between Russia and Ukraine. He planned to discuss the crisis. He met several government officials on his visit to Ukraine. Erdogan also met President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

The reason for the meeting was to discuss the situation, escalated in the past few days. On Tuesday, Ukrainian and Russian forces exchanged fire across the border, and Russia deployed additional troops and military equipment to the area. The U.S. President said he is “not necessarily” considering sending U.S. troops to Ukraine. He also said that the U.S. should feel its responsibility to the Ukrainian people.

Erdogan’s trip comes after a series of visits by leaders of NATO members Poland, Britain, and the Netherlands to Kyiv amid the deadlock. Turkey has good ties with Moscow and Kyiv. However, it would act accordingly as a NATO member if Russia invades Ukraine.

Ankara offered in November to help ease tensions. In January, Turkish diplomatic sources said that Ukraine and Russia were open to discussion.

A separate Turkish official said Erdogan would address both sides to exercise restraint. He added that Ankara wanted to continue its cooperation with both significant countries.

The official said Turkey’s approach is not standing against one country in the tensions. He explained that with Erdogan’s initiative, they expect tensions to ease.

Turkey shares the Black Sea with Russia and Ukraine. Because of that, Erdogan thinks that the conflict would be inappropriate in the region. He also warned Russia that an attack would not be a wise action.

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