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Zelenskiy Welcomes Offers By Azerbaijan, Turkey To Mediate Talks With Russia

By RFE/RL February 26, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he welcomes offers by Azerbaijan and Turkey to organize talks with Moscow as Russian troops continue their invasion of Ukraine and drive on toward the capital, Kyiv.

In a video message on February 26, Zelenskiy said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev offered to help organize talks and that "we can only welcome that."

However, hopes for an immediate move to talks appeared dim as residents of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, braced for a direct assault by Russian troops who were in the third day of an invasion of their country.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu asked Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a phone call to end the attack on Ukraine, a Turkish diplomatic source told AFP.

Ankara has called the Russian invasion of Ukraine "unacceptable" and previously offered to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv.

There was some confusion over comments by Zelenskiy that Erdogan had agreed to close Turkish straits to Russian warship access following a phone call between the two leaders on February 26.

"The ban on the passage of Russian warships to the Black Sea and significant military and humanitarian support for Ukraine are extremely important today. The people of Ukraine will never forget that!" Zelenskiy tweeted.

However, Turkish sources familiar with the matter told Western wire services that no decision of that type had been made.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/zelenskiy-ukraine- turkey-azerbaijan-talks/31725350.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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