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Erdoğan makes a phone call with Putin, calling for ‘an urgent general ceasefire’ – Bianet English

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« While the details of the phone call which lasted for around one and a half hours have not been shared with the public, the Presidential Spokesperson of Turkey Kalın had said that Erdoğan would recommend a ceasefire to Russia’s President Putin » says Bianet English.

President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a phone call with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin yesterday (March 6) amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

As reported by Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency, the phone call between the presidents was about the situation in Ukraine and lasted for around one and a half hours. After the phone call, the Presidency’s Directorate of Communications released a written statement.

« President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke by phone with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, » said the statement and added:

« The call addressed Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the Turkey-Russia relations. President Erdoğan stated that Turkey stood ready to make all kinds of contributions for the Ukraine problem to be resolved as soon as possible by peaceful means. Noting that an urgent general ceasefire would not only ease the humanitarian concerns in the region, but also provide an opportunity to seek a political solution, President Erdoğan reiterated his call to ‘pave the way for peace together.’

« President Erdoğan underscored the importance of taking urgent steps to achieve a ceasefire, open humanitarian corridors, and sign a peace agreement. Stating that he was in constant contact with the Ukrainian side and other countries, President Erdoğan said he would continue his efforts for comprehensive negotiations to be held, and to achieve results. »

As reported by Sputnik, Putin told Erdoğan that « the operation could stop when Kyiv stopped fighting and fulfilled the requests. »

In a statement a day before, Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın had said that Erdoğan would recommend a ceasefire to Putin.

What happened?

Earlier on February 24, explosions were reported in several Ukrainian provinces, including the capital Kyiv, after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ in the Donbas region.

Tensions had started escalating late last year when Ukraine, the US and its allies accused Russia of amassing tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine. They claimed Russia was preparing to invade its western neighbor, which was consistently rejected by Moscow.

Defying threats of sanctions by the West, Moscow officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states in late February, followed by the start of a military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

President Vladimir Putin said the operation aims to protect people « subjected to genocide » by Kyiv and to « demilitarize and de-Nazify » Ukraine, while calling on the Ukrainian army to lay down its arms.

CLICK – bianet news on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In the face of this invasion, protest demonstrations are held both on the streets and in front of the embassies of Russia in several countries such as the US, Mexico, Chile, Italy, Britain, Georgia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Spain, Germany, Lebanon, the Netherlands and Greece.

As reported by Novaya, 1,816 people were taken into custody during the anti-war protests in several cities in Russia a day after the invasion.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has also been met with outrage from the international community, with the European Union (EU), UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia has been further isolated as its planes have been barred from flying in European and Canadian airspace, and a number of its banks have been kicked out of the SWIFT international banking system.

So far, at least 136 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, including 13 children, and 400 others injured, including 26 children, according to UN figures. At least 677,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency. (HA/SD)

Bianet English, March 7, 2022

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