Erdogan: "It is impossible to change our position on Ukraine"

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

© APA | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

# 27 January 2022 01:03 (UTC +04:00)

"Turkey has supported Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty from the very beginning. We have demonstrated a clear position against Russia's actions, especially those in Crimea, that are detrimental to Ukraine's territorial integrity. It is impossible to change our position," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this in an interview with journalists, APA's Turkish bureau reports.

Amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Turkiye's president on Wednesday reiterated that he is ready to host the leaders of the two countries to “pave the way for re-establishing peace”.

"Turkiye wants tensions between Russia and Ukraine to be resolved before they turn into a new crisis," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a televised interview.

"I hope that Russia will not resort to an armed attack and occupation of Ukraine," he added, stressing Turkiye’s desire for regional peace and stability.

Such a move, he said, could not be "rational" for Russia and the region.

Erdogan also announced that he had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkiye, but the date is yet to be set.

He, meanwhile, reiterated Turkiye’s "clear" position on maintaining Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Russia recently amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s eastern border, prompting fears that Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.

Moscow has denied it is preparing to invade and said its troops are there for exercises. It has, instead, issued a list of security demands, including Ukraine not joining NATO, to calm the existing tensions.