Erdoğan calls for ‘immediate’ end to war in Ukraine during call with Putin

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for an “immediate” end to the war in Ukraine during a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday.

Erdoğan “highlighted the importance Türkiye attaches to the immediate cessation of the Russia-Ukraine conflicts through negotiations” and “thanked President Putin for his positive stance regarding the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” according to a statement from Turkey’s Directorate of Communications.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July, allows Ukrainian grain exports to safely travel through the Black Sea.

Russia agreed to renew the deal for another 60 days last weekend but warned that any further extension would require the easing of Western sanctions, according to Reuters.

While Turkey has largely maintained economic ties with Russia throughout its yearlong war in Ukraine, Ankara ordered companies last month to halt the transit of goods to Russia that are sanctioned by the U.S. and European Union, Bloomberg reported.

Erdoğan’s appeal for a cease-fire and negotiations come on the heels of a similar call for an end to hostilities made by China and Belarus earlier this month. However, the two countries’ efforts were largely eyed with skepticism by the West, as both appear to have drawn increasingly close to Russia.

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