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Erdogan vows Turkish support for Ukraine amid Russia tensions with 'drone sale' Open in fullscreen

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Erdogan vows Turkish support for Ukraine amid Russia tensions with 'drone sale'

Turkey and Ukraine maintain strong relations ["TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT-Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2021

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The comment comes despite warm relations between Russia and Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged support for Ukraine as Kyiv fears a new conflict with Russia over the east of the country.

Erdogan hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday in Istanbul, amid the mobilisation of Russian troops on the Ukraine border.

He pledged Ankara's continued support for Ukraine, which includes the sale of cutting-edge Turkish drones according to Al Jazeera.

"Our main goal is that the Black Sea continues to be a sea of peace, tranquility and cooperation," Erdogan said, according to Al Jazeera.
Russian-backed separatists have fought a war with Ukrainian forces since 2014 with new tensions in the Donbas region mounting amid Moscow's military build-up.

Turkey is a close economic ally of Russia but also a key member of NATO.

Read also: Turkey bolsters influence across North Africa's Maghreb

Erdogan has sought to ease tensions by calling Russian President Vladimir Putin, before his meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart.

Turkey is concerned by another flare up in Ukraine, which shares the Black Sea with Ankara, along with other countries.

There is also a sizable Turkic Tartar minority in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian Crimea.

Erdogan said Turkey is eager to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

"We hope for the worrying escalation observed on the field recently to end as soon as possible, the ceasefire to continue and for the conflict to be resolved via dialogue on the basis of the Minsk agreements," he said according to Reuters.

"We are ready to provide any support necessary for this."

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