Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called unacceptable Russia's decision to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).
"From the very beginning of the crisis, we sincerely sought to reduce tensions. In the statement of our Foreign Ministry on the latest events, it was indicated that Russia's decision to recognize the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk republics contradicts the Minsk agreements. It was stressed that this decision is a clear violation of the political unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We consider this decision of Russia unacceptable. We once again appeal to the parties to respect common sense and international law," the Turkish president told reporters on board the plane upon his return from his African tour.
According to Erdogan, Turkey considers the proposal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council with the participation of Ukraine, Germany and Turkey to be a positive approach. "If such a proposal finds application, then, of course, we will take part in it. Mr. Zelensky's proposal is a positive approach. If the members of the UN Security Council and other countries agree with it, we will take part in this meeting," the Turkish president said.
At the Munich Security Conference on February 19, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council with the participation of Ukraine, Germany and Turkey. In addition, he proposed to the UN Security Council "to develop new, effective security guarantees for Ukraine." According to Zelensky, such guarantees are needed now, until Ukraine has received membership in NATO.
Erdogan said Turkey considers it necessary to take "additional precautions" after Russia's decision. "We are a Black Sea country. In this regard, we need to create a lot of precautions. We are already taking these measures, but we are also continuing and will continue to work in this direction. We cannot ignore the obligations of the Black Sea country, with this understanding we will continue our path," Erdogan said, without specifying what measures are in question.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia's recognition of the sovereignty of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.