Ankara is working to bring together the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia for talks, following peace negotiations in Istanbul this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday.
The meeting between Russia and Ukraine’s top diplomats could take place within two weeks, Reuters cited Çavuşoğlu as saying.
Russia on Tuesday vowed to reduce its military activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv in light of the “constructive” negotiations with Ukraine following the latest round of peace talks. The talks constituted a fourth round of face-to-face meetings between the two negotiating teams since the war began a month ago.
Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey had not seen the full implementation of the decisions from the talks in Istanbul, including the withdrawal of Russian forces from some areas, but added significant progress was still made.
Noting that he had been in communication with the countries’ foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba, Çavuşoğlu said both sides had indicated they are ready to meet when ready.
“It is not possible to give a certain date. They said a meeting could take place in one to two weeks,’’ he added.
A NATO member, Turkey shares a maritime border with both Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and maintains good ties with both its neighbours and has stepped up to mediate the conflict.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday said that Turkey was ready, in principle, to act as a guarantor country for Ukraine, but added that details of such a format need to be worked out, Reuters reported.
Moscow’s decision to scale down some of its operations near northern Ukraine was “truly important,’’ it cited Erdoğan as saying.