Zelenskyy, Erdogan discuss Turkey’s mediation in exchange of prisoners with Russia, return of deported children, release of Crimean Tatars held by Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.

“Special attention [in a conversation with Erdogan] was paid to the clause of the Peace Formula regarding the return of all deportees and prisoners. This is the return of Ukrainian children who were kidnapped by Russia, the return of prisoners and all those against whom repression is applied in the occupied territories, in particular, in Crimea,” Zelenskyy said in an evening video address.

As he said, “Turkey’s mediation is critical so that it is possible to free both the Crimean Tatars and everyone else – adults and children, soldiers and civilians who are being held in Russian captivity.”

The President of Ukraine also briefed the Turkish leader about the preparations for a new meeting at the level of national security advisers on the Peace Formula, which will take place in Davos (Switzerland) in January.

“I invited a representative of Turkey. Turkey confirmed,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy thanked Erdogan for the achieved level of Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation in many areas, particularly in defense.

“We have common projects – already successful. And this year we must do even more to strengthen our states and peoples. Security in our region – in the Black Sea and global food security – depends on Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation,” he said.

In addition, he thanked Erdogan and the people of Turkey for supporting Ukraine’s work to unblock maritime exports.

In particular, according to Zelenskyy, since the start of the grain corridor, Ukraine has exported more than 14 million tonnes of cargo and dispatched about 500 ships.

“This is an essential result, both economically, in the sector of security and in geopolitics. We demonstrate that we can restore security to our region despite all existing threats. We see how the strength of our partnership with Turkey gives strength to our entire region,” the president said.


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