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EU to hold Istanbul summit for Ukraine-Russia war

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Monday, 23 January, 2023, 21:42
EU to hold Istanbul summit for Ukraine-Russia war

The European Union is planning to hold a big summit in Istanbul on Feb. 22 on the occasion of the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the head of the EU delegation in Türkiye Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut said on Monday.

He said that a Ukrainian government official would be invited while a Turkish representative would also be present at the summit, which will deal with the geopolitical and economic consequences of the war.

"This is also a way of expressing our support for Ukraine. Last year, Feb. 24, the start of Russian aggression was a defining moment in European history," he told reporters.

"People often say that 9/11 was a moment of change for American security history. I would say there is similar important European security situation on Feb. 24, 2022. We have a war on our continent, a great brutal war, a war with consequences far beyond the European continent."

Türkiye is one of the most active countries working to ensure a permanent cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. Its delicately balanced act of assuming a mediator role by keeping communication channels with both warring sides open provides a glimmer of hope in diplomatic efforts to find a solution and achieve peace in Ukraine.

With the unique position of having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Türkiye has won widespread appreciation for its push to end the war.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, underlining support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. While Türkiye has opposed international sanctions designed to isolate Moscow, the country has also closed its straits to prevent some Russian vessels from crossing.

In a breakthrough, Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for peace talks in Istanbul on March 29, 2022. Türkiye also hosted Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Antalya earlier in March.

Turkish mediation proved vital in facilitating the signing of a deal between Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul that reopened specific Ukrainian ports for releasing grain that had been stuck for months owing to the ongoing conflict.