Ankara: In a fresh bid by a third couontry for obviating confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited the presidents of Russia and Ukraine for talks to be held talks in Istanbul.
Russia and Ukraine have been in a situation of confrontation with Russian troops mobilised along the Ukrainian border, and the European Union taking a stand that such mass troop mobilisation cannot be accepted.
"We disapprove of the developments between Russia and Ukraine, because the existence of a war atmosphere in the region and the emergence of such psychology upsets us as a country that has relations with both sides," Erdogan said at a press conference here.
"We hope to bring together Mr. Putin and Zelensky as soon as possible and to ensure that they have a face-to-face meeting," Erdogan said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Erdogan added he would pay a visit to Ukraine in early February, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Our hope is for peace to reign in the region," he added.
Turkey has been making diplomatic efforts to hold the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group meeting between Ukraine and Russia in Istanbul, state-run TRT broadcaster quoted diplomatic sources as saying.
Turkey aims to hold the next Trilateral Contact Group meeting, which includes Russia, Ukraine the OSCE, and representatives from the Donbass conflict region, the TRT reported.
On July 22, 2020, the representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE agreed on a complete and comprehensive ceasefire in eastern Ukraine starting on July 27.
But Turkey is far from being accepted as a neutral nation, as tensions between Ankara and Moscow have heightened recently over Turkey's sales of armed drones to Ukraine.
Russia is angered over Ukrainian forces using Turkish-made Bayraktar drones in the conflict in the Donbas region.