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Turkish air space closed to planes carrying troops from Russia to Syria, says minister

The move aims to put pressure on Moscow to revive negotiations with Ukraine.

Turkish air space has been closed to military and civilian planes carrying troops from Russia to Syria after consultation with Moscow, Turkey's state broadcaster TRT Haber cited Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying on Saturday.

Reuters reported that NATO member Turkey has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine and has sought to mediate in the war between them.

"We closed airspace to Russia's military planes and even to civilian planes going to Syria and carrying soldiers," Cavusoglu was quoted as saying to reporters on a plane en route to Uruguay. He said permission had been given for three month periods until April, and then the flights stopped.

He said talks were continuing between Russia and Ukraine and the sides were working towards a draft joint declaration.

Cavusoglu said if progress is made in negotiations, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had agreed that a meeting could be held in Turkey.

READ: Russia warns Israel against supplying Ukraine with defensive gear

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