In Lviv, Ukraine, Erdogan seeks to emerge as a key arbiter in the conflict

In Lviv, Ukraine, Erdogan seeks to emerge as a key arbiter in the conflict

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, during their meeting in Lviv, Ukraine, August 18, 2022.

On Thursday, August 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Lviv (Ukraine) from Poland, and was greeted by his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, at the entrance to the Potocki Palace, a 19th-century palace.e A century in which ad hoc talks have been held, between the lines, in search of a solution to the conflict sweeping Ukraine.

Strong handshake, friendly appearance, the two leaders appreciate each other, it is visible. Mr. Zelensky warmly thanked Mr. Erdogan for his first visit since the beginning of the war, which he described as ‘Strong message of support’ for his country.

Read also: The war in Ukraine is alive: for the UN, any damage to the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia would be “suicide”

After speaking for forty-five minutes, the two presidents were joined by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. Together they discussed the necessary intensification of Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, the fate of prisoners of war and, above all, the alarming situation prevailing at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, occupied by the Russian army. his offensive needs.

In recent days, fierce fighting that has taken place around and around the plant site has raised fears of disaster. “We will not relive the Chernobyl disaster”, Erdogan warned, referring to the most important civilian nuclear accident in Europe, which occurred after the explosion of reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl power plant on April 26, 1986, near Kyiv.

Basic rule

The United Nations must ensure that “The security of this strategic location, its demilitarization, and its complete liberation from the Russian forces,” Mr. Zelensky said, shrugged ‘Deliberate terrorism’ Moscow has inflicted on Ukraine, the entire region and the rest of the world.

Read also Chernobyl reactor closed for 100 years

At the end of their talks, the Ukrainian President and Mr. Guterres agreed to send a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Zaporizhia Power Plant. According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, is ready to visit the site, which everyone agrees should be demilitarized. It is not certain that Russia agrees.

Only Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the answer to this question. He engaged in the difficult exercise of diplomatic balancing, supporting Kyiv without angering Moscow, and is currently the only leader with the ear of Russian President Vladimir Putin, since his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor, Olaf Schulz, abandoned their position. He tries to bring him back to his senses. In recent weeks, Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan have met each other twice, once in Tehran and then on August 5 in Sochi on the shores of the Black Sea. Nothing filtered through the four hours of conversation they had in the Russian port city. The only certainty: the Turkish president appeared as the best to persuade the Kremlin master to negotiate.

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