Baku – APA. “We must regretfully say that Russia failed to fulfill its promises regarding the Crimean Tatars. Russia is our friend, but we must say its wrong steps”, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu agency, APA reports.
The FM said Turkey’s position regarding sanctions imposed on Russia is clear, pointing out that Russia is Turkey's second largest trade partner after Germany.
“However, our good relations with Russia don’t mean that we accept what is happening in Russia and recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea. Turkey explicitly stated that it doesn’t and will not recognize the annexation of Crimea,” he noted.
The minister stressed that they are trying to establish a dialogue between Kiev and Moscow, and Russian President Vladimir Putrin was informed about it during his visit to Turkey. He said all the facts of attack and pressure on the Crimean Tatars were brought to the attention of the Russian side.
“We gave them a list of a hundred of Crimean Tatars who were punished only for meeting with Mustafa Cemiloglu and a list of the facts of attack and pressure on the Crimean Tatars,” the FM added.
According to the Turkish FM, Putin in his response reiterated some promises such making Crimean Tatar the official language, granting to Tatars the rights of which Ukraine deprived them and appointing Crimean Tatars to government posts: “We must see these turn into reality. To date, I’m sorry to say, these promises have never been fulfilled”.
The minister also mentioned that Putin saying, “Official or non-official, send any delegation of your preference, necessary conditions will be created for them,” in response to Turkey’s proposal of sending a delegation to Crimea. He added that he would soon send a delegation to Crimea.
Cavusoglu also mentioned that Putin during his visit proposed to construct a new gas pipeline underneath the Black Sea instead of the South Stream project and build a station somewhere near the Greek border, adding that the two countries have signed a non-binding agreement and reached no decision with regard to the project. He said the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is a priority for Turkey, and that they continue efforts to realize the project in the near future.