Turkey vows to never recognize Crimea as Russian

Turkey will continue to adhere to the policy of non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea by Russia, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

"Turkey is actively in contact with Russia on many current issues, including the situation in Syria, Libya and Karabakh. There are differences in positions, but the parties adhere to the policy of constructive dialogue with mutual consideration of sensitive issues in the national interest. This, in particular, concerns Ukraine," Cavusoglu said at a meeting of the parliamentary commission in Ankara.

Turkey has not recognized and does not recognize the "illegal annexation of Crimea" and will continue to monitor the security and well-being of the Crimean Tatars, Interfax quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

As for the situation in the South Caucasus, according to Cavusoglu, there is hope for positive changes after the victory over Armenia in the war for Nagorno-Karabakh.

"With the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the region has received a historic chance for long-term peace," the Turkish Foreign Minister said, adding that the other priority direction of Turkey's foreign policy is the countries of Central Asia.

"We aim to increase the importance of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (Turkic Council) as an international organization," Cavusoglu said.

At the end of September, a meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkic-speaking countries was held in Istanbul, and on November 12, a summit of the organization's leaders is planned, at which the chairmanship will pass to Turkey.

In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.

On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.

International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

  Crimea, Turkey, Russia

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