Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday warned Turkey against what he said were attempts to fuel Ukraine's "militaristic sentiment" after Ankara moved to boost cooperation with Kyiv, Reuters reports.
"We strongly recommend that our Turkish colleagues carefully analyse the situation and stop fuelling Kyiv's militaristic sentiment," Lavrov said in an interview with Argumenty i Fakty newspaper.
Last month, in a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the former expressed his concern about the developments in Ukraine's occupied eastern Donbas region where renewed fighting has broken out between the government and pro-Russian separatists.
Erdogan said at the time that Turkey, a NATO member, and Ukraine had launched a platform with their foreign and defence ministers to discuss defence industry cooperation, but added that this was "not in any way a move against third countries".
Turkey, along with the rest of NATO, criticised 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.
Turkey and Russia have deep military ties, with Ankara buying Russian S-400 defence missile systems despite threats of US sanctions.
Last February, Turkey and Russia opened a joint military facility in Azerbaijan to help monitor the ceasefire with Armenia, a stark indicator of the shifting geopolitics in the region.