Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan has said he believes Russia’s leader is seeking an end to the war he
began in Ukraine, and that a “significant step” will be made.
He said his impression from
recent talks with Vladimir Putin was that he wanted to “end this as soon
Ukraine has recaptured swathes
of its territory this month.
The Turkish leader indicated
things were “quite problematic” for Russia.
Mr Erdogan spoke of having
“very extensive discussions” with Mr Putin at a summit in Uzbekistan
In an interview with US
broadcaster PBS, the Turkish leader said he gained the impression that the
Russian president wanted a speedy end to the war.
“He is actually showing
me that he’s willing to end this as soon as possible,” Mr Erdogan said.
“That was my impression because the way things are going right now are
He also said 200
“hostages” would soon be exchanged between the two sides. He gave no
further detail of who would be included in such a prisoner swap.
Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly
sought to mediate during the war, promoting a “balanced” stance for
Nato member Turkey, while opposing Western sanctions on Russia.
He helped the UN mediate a
resumption of grain exports from Ukraine and said last week he was trying to
organize direct ceasefire talks.
Meanwhile, two months after
Russian forces seized control over the entire eastern region of Luhansk,
Ukraine has reclaimed part of the territory.
Luhansk’s Ukrainian leader
Serhiy Haidai said Russian forces had retreated from the village of Bilohorivka
– but were doing all they could to dig in elsewhere.
President Volodymyr Zelensky
said “the occupiers are clearly in a panic”.