Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran receives the co-chairperson of the Ukraine-Turkey Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Rustem Umerov and the parliamentary delegation accompanying him, capital Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 12, 2022. (AA Photo
https://www.dailysabah.com- Turkey and Ukraine are strengthening their strategic partnership with parliamentary diplomacy, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran said Thursday.
Kıran received the co-chairperson of the Ukraine-Turkey Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, Rustem Umerov, and the parliamentary delegation accompanying him.
In a post on his Twitter account, Kıran noted that they hosted the delegation of the Ukraine-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group, co-chaired by Umerov and Roman Hryshchuk and of which the Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev is a member, and said: “We are further strengthening our strategic partnership with our parliamentary diplomacy.”
On Feb. 3, Kyiv is set to host the 10th High-Level Strategic Council between Turkey and Ukraine, with the heads of state expected to attend the event that will mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
The Turkish and Ukrainian leaders set a $10 billion annual trade volume target, which is currently more than $5 billion. Turkey, meanwhile, is expected to set a new record in this field by hosting more than 2 million Ukrainian tourists by the end of this year. The countries agreed on visa- and passport-free travel in 2017.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey became one of the first countries to recognize Ukraine on Dec. 16, 1991, and the two countries established diplomatic ties on Feb. 3, 1992. The Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey was ratified in 1993. In 1649, the first agreement was signed between the Cossacks in Ukraine and the Ottoman Empire. Also, the Ottoman Empire was one of the first states to recognize the Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1918.
Military tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been high since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014. Turkey, along with the rest of NATO, criticized Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and voiced support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity as Kyiv’s forces battle pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Crimean Tatars are a Muslim community indigenous to the Black Sea peninsula. Most Crimean Tatars opposed Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Russian authorities have since cracked down on the community, banning their assembly and television channel as well as detaining and jailing dozens of activists.
NATO member Turkey has good ties with both Kyiv and Moscow, though it opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya. It has forged energy and defense cooperation with Russia while opposing Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Donbass has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014, according to the United Nations. The region is one of the several sources of friction between Russia and Ukraine.