Erdoğan attends trilateral summit in Lyiv

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan traveled to Lviv on Aug. 18 for a trilateral summit with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Summit will focus on the ongoing Russian occupation of Ukraine and the continued operation of the grain export through the Black Sea.

Erdoğan will also hold a bilateral meeting with Zelensky on his first visit to Ukraine after the war broke on Feb. 24, the presidency said in a statement late Aug. 17. The summit will take place in Lviv, close to Polish borders. Erdoğan is expected to depart for Lviv early on Aug. 18.

Erdoğan will pay a one-day working visit to Lviv on Aug. 18, 2022, at the invitation of Zelensky. During the talks Erdoğan will hold with his Ukrainian counterpart, all aspects of the Türkiye-Ukraine relations, which are at a strategic partnership level, will be discussed,” read the statement by the presidency.

During his visit, Erdoğan will also attend a trilateral summit with the participation of Zelensky and Guterres. The trilateral summit will focus on potential steps aimed at increasingly maintaining the activities of the mechanism formed to export the Ukrainian grain to world markets and ending the Ukraine-Russia war through diplomatic avenues, informed the statement.

Thanks to the initiatives by Türkiye and the U.N. that resulted in two different protocols with Russia and Ukraine, the latter could resume its grain exports to the world markets. The process is being controlled and coordinated through a Joint Coordination Center based in Istanbul that brought the officials from Ukraine and Russia together, along with Türkiye and the U.N.

Türkiye has long been supporting Ukraine’s self-defense against the Russian invasion but also is trying to mediate between the two sides for a ceasefire. Upon Ankara’s initiatives, the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Antalya in March, although no breakthrough could be secured. Erdoğan has been in direct contact with both Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin since the war started. Erdoğan held two in-person meetings with Putin recently, one in Tehran in July and the other in Sochi town of Russia on Aug. 5.

In the meantime, the Turkish-made armed drones were actively being used by the Ukrainian army. The two countries have already agreed to the production of these drones on Ukraine’s territory. Erdoğan and Zelensky are expected to discuss all the aspects of the bilateral relations, as well as intensifying defense industry cooperation.