Turkey has the right to develop its relations with Ukraine, but Russia hopes that these relations will not be directed against it, the Russian presidency said on Monday, after Ankara handed over to Kiev commanders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion taken prisoner by the Russian army and who, in by virtue of a tripartite agreement between these capitals and Moscow, he should have remained in Turkey until the end of the war, reports the EFE agency, according to Agerpres.
“Turkey has every right to develop relations with any country, including Ukraine. But, of course, as partners of Turkey, we hope that the development of these relations will not be directed against us”, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. He described Russian-Turkish relations as “very close, developed, multi-dimensional and mutually beneficial”.
However, added President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, “there are certain topics” on which Moscow and Ankara do not agree, noting in particular the manufacture of Turkish Bayraktar drones in Ukraine and the handover to Ukraine of the commanders of the Azov battalion, this last action being considered by Moscow “a violation of agreed agreements”.
“We will discuss this with the Turkish side and we have already started to do so,” Peskov indicated, adding that Moscow expects an explanation from Ankara regarding its violation of the agreement regarding the Azov commanders and “will take into account” this situation before the conclusion of other possible agreements with Turkey in the future.
Moscow had accepted the release of those commanders, but on the condition that they remain in Turkey “until the end of the conflict”
Moscow had accepted the release of those commanders, but on the condition that they remain in Turkey “until the end of the conflict”. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy paid a visit to Istanbul at the end of last week, where he met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and confirmed there that he had obtained the return of the commanders of the Azov Battalion to Ukraine.
Later, on Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan, during which he also addressed this topic.
“The two ministers reaffirmed the need to maintain and strengthen the trusting nature of relations between Moscow and Ankara, based on the agreements in principle concluded between the Russian presidents, Vladimir Putin, and the Turkish presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said after that discussion .
Editor: Bianca Chirilă