According to Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian leader Vladimir “Putin is ready to end the war in Ukraine” and take a significant step in that direction shortly.
In an interview with US broadcaster PBS, Erdogan gave the impression that Putin was exhausted after the fighting that started earlier this year and which has cost the Kremlin's forces much more than they had forecast.
He is actually showing me that he is willing to end this as soon as possible, Erdogan said regarding his recent talks with the Russian leader. That was my impression because the way things are going at the moment is quite problematic, he added. He also mentioned some 200 prisoners of war were to be exchanged soon.
Putin was said last week to be willing to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but the Russian leader denied these reports.
When asked whether Russia would be allowed to keep any territory seized since February after a ceasefire, Erdogan replied that undoubtedly not.
In Uzbekistan, I met with President Putin and we have had deep discussions. And he is showing me that he is ready to put an end to this situation as soon as possible, Erdogan told PBS.
If there is peace in Ukraine, obviously the restitution of the lands that were invaded will be very important. Putin has taken some steps. So have we. The invaded lands will be returned to Ukraine, Erdogan insisted.
Regarding Russia's annexation of Crimea, Erdogan explained that since 2014 we have been talking to my dear friend Putin about this and we have been asking for it. But there was still no step forward.
All we want to do and what we want to see is to end this battle with peace, whether it is Putin or Zelensky. I have always called for and recommended this. This is a conflict that has ended with casualties. People are dying and no one will win at the end of the day, Erdogan stressed.