Turkey will never recognize the anexation of Crimea – Erdogan
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed confidence that Russia will be held accountable for its actions
Turkey did not recognize the legality of the annexation of Crimea and will not do so. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this on August 7 during a joint press conference with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
Erdogan confirmed that the protection of the rights, interests and preservation of the national identity of the Crimean Tatars, their stay in their homeland in Crimea will remain a priority for his country.
“We want the conflict in Donbass to end as soon as possible. We believe that it will be resolved peacefully, on the basis of international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We support the Minsk Process and the activities of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which is headed by Turkish diplomats, ”the Turkish President added..
In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed confidence that “a mechanism will definitely be found that will make Russia responsible for its actions.” The head of the Ukrainian state named Turkey as one of the partners that can contribute to the achievement of this goal, the press service of the leader of Ukraine reports..
“Together we will definitely find a way that will make Russia respect international law, return peace and stability to the region, protect the rights and freedoms of the Crimean Tatars and free the Kremlin’s political prisoners,” Zelensky said during a joint press conference with Erdogan..
He noted that the threats of continued militarization in the occupied Crimea, violation of human rights on the peninsula and persecution of the Crimean Tatar people were among the key topics during negotiations with the President of Turkey..
“We believe that Russia’s irresponsible and unpunished demarches in the international arena should finally receive a fair answer. Because today is the trouble of Ukraine, but tomorrow it can become a disaster for all countries in the region, “Zelensky stressed..
He said that Ukraine highly values relations with its strategic partner – the Republic of Turkey and is grateful to her and President Erdogan for their unwavering position in supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country..
“Thank you for always having the courage to call a spade a spade – in particular, the occupation of Crimea by Russia,” summed up Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In Russia – about the Crimea peninsula
Crimea can return to Ukraine only if Russia ceases to exist. This was stated in an interview with RT by the deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee on international affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov. According to the Russian senator, such statements by Kiev should not be taken seriously. Vladimir Dzhabarov stressed that the ironic condition he voiced about the termination of the existence of the Russian state will never happen.
“The peninsula accidentally ended up in Ukraine, and now justice has triumphed,” he said, adding that if Zelensky continues to make such statements, then relations between Moscow and Kiev will remain at an impasse.
On the possible return of Crimea
Political commentator Alexander Kochetkov notes that Ukrainian leaders often do not understand or do not know the mechanism for returning the illegally annexed territory.
“Today it is something like a mantra – every president must recite it if he does not want problems with the public. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, when it suits him, plays the role of a defender of international law and says that Crimea is Ukrainian. On the other hand, he protects the Turkish benefit for the future – the problem of the Crimean Tatars has become very aggravated on the peninsula, and one of the options for returning Crimea is to provide Crimean Tatar autonomy, taking into account the Crimean Tatar diaspora in Turkey, which interacts very strongly and closely with official Ankara. By recognizing Crimea as Ukrainian, the Turkish leader is strengthening his influence in his homeland and Turkish influence in this region, including in Crimea, when he returns to Ukraine, “Kochetkov said in an interview with the Voice of America Russian Service..
He looks with hope to the future of the new Ukrainian foreign policy and notes that there are forces in the team of President Volodymyr Zelensky that are not constrained by old ideas about relations with Russia..
“There may not be a strategy for Crimea today, but there is hope that Zelensky’s team has specialists who are well aware of the problem of Crimea and the options for a certain Black Sea alliance that will interact in the process of returning Crimea,” emphasizes Alexander Kochetkov.
However, he believes that as long as President Vladimir Putin is in power in Russia, Crimea will not return to Ukraine..
“The military option of returning is not being considered – Russia has turned Crimea into an unsinkable aircraft carrier. All other options – diplomatic and negotiation – are absolutely unrealistic, it’s like trying to persuade a cannibal to switch to a vegetarian diet, ”says Kochetkov.
Turkey decided on Crimea three years ago
According to the chairman of the board of the Center for Strategic Research Pavel Zhovnirenko, Turkey three years ago, despite cooperation with Russia in the military and energy spheres, declared its support for Ukraine’s position on Crimea.
“Erdogan pursues his policy, and he wants to be equidistant from Russia and the West – he cooperates with Russia on gas and weapons, but he cannot answer the“ Crimean question ”in another way. Turkey was silent for a long time after the annexation of Crimea, but then it decided and clearly stated that Crimea is Ukraine, “Zhovnirenko told the Voice of America correspondent.
According to Zhovnirenko, the foreign policy component is one of the strengths of Zelensky’s team.
“This is Bohdan Yaremenko, the former consul general [of Ukraine] in Istanbul, this is Ivan Aparshin, the adviser to the head of the administration. Yaremenko, most likely, will be the head of the committee in the Verkhovna Rada on foreign affairs, Irina Vereshchuk is very well versed in issues of external relations and the Russian-Ukrainian war, “- adds Zhovnirenko.
Historical memory and modern realities
Director of the Situations Modeling Agency Vitaly Bala notes that Turkey will never agree with the Russian annexation of Crimea, given the “sense” of historical memory, and the centuries-old rivalry in the region of the two empires – the Russian and the Ottoman.
“We see that Turkey will not contribute to the strengthening of Russia in the Black Sea basin, given that even the recent conditional confrontation with the United States Ankara used to profitably buy Russian S-400 missile systems. In any case, Turkey will proceed from its own interests, and the Turks believe that Crimea as a part of Ukraine with some autonomy is much better than the annexation of the peninsula by Russia, ”Bala says..
He suggests that we can still see the role of Turkey in the process around the return of Crimea to Ukraine. The occupied territories – Crimea and part of Donbass – according to Vitaly Bala, will return to economically and socially successful Ukraine.
“The main Ukrainian strategy today is to build a successful country, into which both Crimea and parts of the occupied Donbass will voluntarily want to enter,” says Bala.
The Crimean Declaration of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, released on July 25, 2018, notes that the United States, along with allies, partners and the international community, rejects the annexation of Crimea by Russia and pledges to pursue this policy until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored..
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that prohibits US government agencies “de jure and de facto” from recognizing the Russian annexation of Crimea.