Turkiye ready to host Russian, Ukrainian leaders: President Erdogan
Ankara wants tensions between Russia, Ukraine to be resolved before turning into new crisis, Turkish leader says
Amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Turkiye's president on Wednesday reiterated that he is ready to host the leaders of the two countries to “pave the way for re-establishing peace”.
"Turkiye wants tensions between Russia and Ukraine to be resolved before they turn into a new crisis," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a televised interview.
"I hope that Russia will not resort to an armed attack and occupation of Ukraine," he added, stressing Turkiye's desire for regional peace and stability.
Such a move, he said, could not be "rational" for Russia and the region.
Erdogan also announced that he had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkiye, but the date is yet to be set.
He, meanwhile, reiterated Turkiye's "clear" position on maintaining Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Russia recently amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine's eastern border, prompting fears that Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Moscow has denied it is preparing to invade and said its troops are there for exercises. It has, instead, issued a list of security demands, including Ukraine not joining NATO, to calm the existing tensions.
Iranian gas supply
On the disruption in pipeline gas imports from Iran, Erdogan said Turkiye was not in debt to Iran, stressing that such accusations are "lies."
The Turkish leader said he spoke to Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi about the issue. The natural gas flow will continue in 10-15 days, Erdogan said.
Iran recently confirmed that it would not send natural gas to Turkiye between Jan. 21 and Jan. 31 due to a technical malfunction on the main pipeline.
Turkiye has been implementing gas cuts to the industrial sector specifically in industrial zones and in natural gas power plants to ensure a favorable, supply-demand balance in the system.