Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his country does not recognise Russia's violation of "Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Anadolu reported.
In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan highlighted the importance of reaching a solution to the dispute between the two countries on the basis of the Minsk agreements.
Erdogan reiterated during the call, according to an official statement, that Turkiye stands ready to do its part for de-escalation of Russia-Ukraine tension and preserve the peace.
"President Erdogan noted that he would like to welcome Russian President Putin in Turkiye for the High-Level Cooperation Council Meeting as soon as possible, as had been agreed upon during his visit to Sochi in September," the statement said.
The Turkish president emphasised the "great importance" that he attached to his close dialogue with Putin which "yielded favourable outcomes," adding that he was determined to maintain this approach.
Erdogan: 'Turkey cannot abandon ties with Russia or Ukraine'
Erdogan also told Putin that none of the sides would benefit from the dispute becoming more complicated, or worse, turning into a military confrontation.
"President Erdogan stated that Turkiye, in this spirit, attached importance to the continuation of diplomatic talks and that it, today as well, stood ready to do its part for the de-escalation of tension and the preservation of peace," the statement said.Between September 2014 and February 2015, Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany, collectively known as the Normandy Quartet, signed the Minsk Protocol, which effectively halted troop advances and greatly lowered tensions.
However, Anadolu said, the agreements could not be implemented, and the confrontations devolved into trench warfare.
On Monday, Putin announced Russian recognition of two eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions as "independent" states, followed quickly by an order to send Russian forces there to "maintain peace".
The US and other Western powers condemned the move and imposed new sanctions on Russia.
READ: Turkey's balancing act between Russia and Ukraine