According to diplomatic sources, on April 10, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is going to pay a visit to Turkey due to the 9th assembly of the Turkey-Ukraine High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
“The meeting will be held with the participation of ministers, during which Turkish-Ukrainian relations, the level of strategic partnership in all its aspects will be discussed, measures can also be taken to develop and deepen bilateral cooperation, ” the Ukrainian official statement says.
Collaboration in the defense industry, free-trade agreement (FTA), and tourism are estimated to be in the major issues that will be discussed on the meeting.
Taking into account the sharp military escalation in Eastern Ukraine, it seems that the tourism is not the first topic to discuss.
In December 2020, Ankara and Kiev signed an agreement on the production of corvettes and attack drones for the Ukrainian army.
In 2019, Kiev purchased and tested 6 Bayraktar TB2 Turkish attack UAVs, which equipped with MAM-L high-precision bombs from the Turkish company Roketsan. Kiev also proclaimed its interest in the joint production of Bayraktar TB2 in Ukraine and that the Ukrainian army plans to purchase 48 such devices of joint production.
Another field of cooperation is the joint production of corvettes that is planned at the Okean shipyard in Nikolaev. The sides are also holding talks on joint production of the An-178 aircraft.
A day before Zelensky’s visit to Ankara, Recep Erdogan has spoken to Russian leader Vladimir Putin by telephone to discuss the growing crisis. Among other claims Putin urged Turkish President to preserve the Montreux Convention limiting the freedom of military ships to transit through the straits to the Back Sea.
The leaders discussed the Monteux Convention following reports that the US was considering sending its warships to the Black Sea in the coming weeks in a show of support for Ukraine. In practice, US warships navigate in the Black Sea on a regular basis.
“That’s not anything new,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, referring to U.S. military ships in the Black Sea.
Thus, Biden’s claims were nothing but empty threats amid growing tensions in Eastern European region. At the same time, Turkish consultations with Moscow before welcoming Zelensky may also be a bad signal for Ukrainian leader.
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