During a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked his colleague to include a Turkish military contingent in the peacekeeping mission in the Donbas. The meeting was broadcast by the TV channel 112 Ukraine.
“I suggested to Mr. President that he make our dialog more active, including support of the decision to deploy peacekeepers in accordance with the UN Security Council mandate. We trust Turkey, and would be happy if Turkey took part in bringing peace to the Donbas by deploying its own peacekeeping mission as part of the UN,” Poroshenko said.
In addition, the Ukrainian President said that he and Erdogan had reached agreements to coordinate efforts to have political prisoners in Russia released. “We appreciate the assistance from Turkey and from Mr. President personally in the release of political prisoners. We are very grateful for the release of Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilma Umerov. We agreed on the persons who are being held illegally in occupied Crimea and in Russia, and we will continue to coordinate the process of obtaining the release of political prisoners,” Poroshenko stated.
During the joint press briefing, Erdogan did not mention the possibility of sending Turkish peacekeepers to the Donbas. However, he did state that Turkey does not intend to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and emphasized that Ankara’s foreign policy is to support the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and political unity of Ukraine.
Before meeting with Erdogan, Poroshenko visited the residence of the Constantinople Patriarch in Istanbul, signing a collaboration agreement with Patriarch Bartholomew.