Moscow warns Turkey over Ukraine ties
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday warned Ankara against what he called attempts to fuel "militaristic sentiment" in Ukraine following Turkey’s pledge to boost cooperation with Kyiv.
Last month, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan vowed support to Kyiv amid a flare up in tensions with Russia, which saw Moscow reinforce its troops on its border with Ukraine.
"We strongly recommend that our Turkish colleagues carefully analyse the situation and stop fuelling Kyiv's militaristic sentiment," Reuters cited Lavrov as saying.
In a meeting in Istanbul with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Erdoğan said he supported Ukraine's territorial integrity and cooperation between the Turkish and Ukrainian defence industries, which includes the sharing of technology to produce drones and naval corvettes, was not directed against any third country.
Encouraging "aggressive" Ukrainian actions towards Russian-annexed Crimeaamounted to an encroachment on Russia's territorial integrity, Lavrov said, adding that Moscow hoped for Ankara to "adjust its line’’ based on Russia’s "legitimate concerns."
Russia has been deploying troops along its Ukraine border, where government forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting since 2014. Over 14,000 people have been so far killed in the conflict, which has been flaring in recent months. Both sides accusing each other of violating a truce that took effect in July.
Ukraine has purchased Turkish-made armed drones, which proved effective against Russian hardware in other conflicts, including between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.