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Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the NATO summit, Crimea and the grain deal

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Ukraine deserves to join NATO, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after meeting in Istanbul with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Turkish president also said that Ankara is making efforts to extend the grain deal for a longer period after it expires on July 17. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that the whole world is interested in the functioning of the grain corridor. “It shouldn’t be up to Russia,” he pointed out.

Volodymyr Zelensky he said that he discussed the situation in Crimea with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and assured that Ukraine regain legal control of the peninsula.

– We discussed the situation in our Crimea separately Russia still illegally controlled and used as a foothold. In any case, we will restore our legal control over Crimea and restore security on the peninsula and justice for all Crimean residents, in particular for the Crimean Tatars, who are now unfortunately once again subjected to brutal repression and pressure from Russia,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky met with ErdoganTOLGA BOZOGLU/PAP/EPA

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– From annexation of Crimea Contrary to international law, to this day we declare on all platforms our support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, said the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan after meeting in Istanbul with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

– We have shown our solidarity with Ukraine in practice by providing concrete assistance in the political, economic, humanitarian and technical spheres. We have also become the country that is making the greatest efforts to end the war,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan: Ukraine deserves NATO membership

Both leaders also discussed preparations for the NATO summit in Vilnius. – Today we also discussed the key issues of our cooperation within NATO, in particular the preparations for the Vilnius summit. During the conversation, I raised the issue of Ukraine’s invitation to NATO and I was glad when the president said that Ukraine deserves to become a member of the Alliance, said the Ukrainian president.

Erdogan stressed that Russia and Ukraine “should return to peace talks”. – Ukraine deserves NATO membership. And I want to emphasize one thing once again: no one will lose in the coming of a just peace.


He also assured that Türkiye would support the reconstruction of Ukraine. – Our construction companies, which are the leaders of this market in Ukraine, will help our Ukrainian friends in rebuilding the country – he promised.

Talks about extending the grain agreement

The Turkish president also said that Ankara is making efforts to extend the grain deal for a longer period after it expires on July 17.

– On July 17, the validity of this initiative expires, thanks to which approximately 33 million tons of grain were delivered to those in need through the Turkish straits during the year. I hope to continue this initiative. I am confident that all stakeholders will act to this end, aware of their global responsibility,” said the Turkish president.

“We are working on how long we can extend the contract after July 17. We hope that it will be renewed at least once every three months, not every two months. We will make efforts in this regard and try to extend this period to two years,” Erdogan said.

“We discussed this tonight and I hope that we will discuss this with President Putin next month,” the Turkish leader said, announcing the Russian president’s visit to Turkey in August.

Zelensky: it is important that the corridor is not dependent only on Russia

– The whole world is interested in the functioning of the grain corridor. It is very important that we start working with partners in such a way that the life of the grain corridor, and thus the lives of people on other continents, including Asia and Africa, does not depend on the mood in which the president of the Russian Federation woke up – said Zelensky.

Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to TurkeyTOLGA BOZOGLU/PAP/EPA

– We have this corridor today. It is organized because of the Russian blockade of the Black Sea. We cannot get together every time to think about how people in the world will live for the next two months and how to renegotiate. Therefore, it is very important that this corridor does not depend on the wishes of one state, stressed the Ukrainian president.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on July 4 that it saw no possibility of continuing the Black Sea grain initiative launched last summer, involving the export of grain from Ukrainian ports.

Main photo source: TOLGA BOZOGLU/PAP/EPA

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