Turkey appears to have embraced the idea of deploying U.N. peacekeepers in Ukraine’s eastern province of Donbas, a contested territory between Russia-backed separatists and the central government in Kyiv amid international efforts to resolve the armed conflict there.
In a visit to Istanbul, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko discussed the situation in Donbas with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“President Petro Poroshenko informed the Turkish side about the situation in Donbas and exchanged views on the situation in Russian-occupied Crimea, in particular, the release of Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian prisons,” the press service of the Ukrainian head of state said in a statement.
“Turkey supported the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force to the occupied part of Donbas and stated its readiness to take part in it,” the statement added.
Ankara has already stated that it would never recognize the Russian annexation of Crimean peninsula. Turkey is particularly concerned about the situation of Crimean Tatars and arrests of some Tatar leaders by pro-Russia authorities in Crimea.
Apart from Donbas, leaders also talked about preparations for the upcoming High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting between Ukraine and Turkey.