Turkey to host Russia, Ukraine Foreign Ministers in effort to reach ceasefire

The Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers have agreed to meet at the diplomatic forum at the southern Turkish resort city of Antalya this week, offering hope for Turkey to mediate in the war between Moscow and Kyiv.

The decision to attend the Antalya Diplomatic Forum was announced today by Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said that his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts – Sergei Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba – agreed to meet at the event in an effort to come to a ceasefire resolution in Ukraine.

According to Cavusoglu, the agreement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, yesterday, in which the Turkish leader reiterated his offer to host the meeting.

Following that call, Lavrov later accepted the offer and the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it would take place. Prior to the call, Kuleba said on Saturday that he and Ukraine are open to talks with Lavrov, but only if they were “meaningful”.

Moscow and Kyiv’s agreement to attend the Antalya Diplomatic Forum and to meet there is a step closer to Ankara’s initial aim to serve as a mediator between the two warring countries – an offer the Turkish government has made for years, even before the invasion was launched and direct conflict broke out almost two weeks ago. “We especially hope that this meeting is a turning point and … an important step towards peace and stability,” Cavusoglu stressed.

Throughout the years of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey has largely remained a neutral player and attempted to maintain good relations with both nations. Despite condemning Russia’s invasion, it has refrained from supporting sanctions against Putin’s government, while also supplying Kyiv with armed combat drones.

READ: Turkey’s balancing act between Russia and Ukraine


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