Erdogan demanded that Putin return the occupied lands to Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to end the war in Ukraine “as soon as possible”, but for this he must return all the occupied lands, said in an interview with the American television channel PBS Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“In Uzbekistan (at the SCO summit in Samarkand. – TMT) I met with President Putin, and we had very thorough talks with him. And he actually shows me that he is ready to end this as soon as possible. That was my impression, because the way things are going right now is quite problematic,” Erdogan said.
However, he stressed that the war cannot end with the annexation of any territories of Ukraine to Russia. “If peace is established in Ukraine, of course, the return of the lands that were seized will become really important. This is what is expected. This is what we want. Putin has taken certain steps. We have taken certain steps. The lands that were seized will be returned to Ukraine,” the Turkish President stressed.
He also recalled that since 2014 he has been asking Putin to return Crimea to Ukraine. “But since then, unfortunately, not a single step forward has been taken,” Erdogan admitted. According to him, he has a “persistent desire” to organize negotiations between Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky so that they resolve all contradictions. “I want to hear everything from them. We have not yet succeeded, but I do not lose hope,” Erdogan said.
At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Putin also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who had “questions and concerns” about the war in Ukraine. The President of the Russian Federation promised to answer all the questions of the Chinese leader.
Putin also met with another important partner, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The present era is not the era of wars, and I talked to you about this on the phone,” Modi told Putin. “We will do everything to ensure that this all stops as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced its refusal from the negotiation process,” Putin replied.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR decided to synchronize the processes for holding referendums on the issue of joining Russia. The occupying authorities of the Kherson region announced a statement on the referendum on September 20. The plebiscites in the occupied territories were postponed by the Kremlin indefinitely due to the successful counteroffensive of Ukraine, which liberated almost the entire Kharkiv region, part of the Kherson and Lugansk regions.
Russian Security Council deputy head Dmitry Medvedev wrote that referendums “should be held” because they “completely change the vector of Russia’s development for decades.” “It is equally important that after the amendments to the Constitution of our state, not a single future leader of Russia, not a single official will be able to reverse these decisions,” Medvedev said.
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