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Aug 20, 2022
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Erdogan flew to Lviv to Zelensky to say: Volodya, you are young, leave before it’s too late

Pictured (left to right): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Pictured (left to right): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo: Zuma/TASS)

Ukrainian Lviv on August 18, apparently, will be in the center of attention of world politicians and the press. Vladimir Zelensky hosted by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary General António Guterres. What such a strange trinity will discuss, one can only guess. Journalists, politicians, and individual officials build their own assumptions.

Advisor to the head of Zelensky’s office Alexey Arestovich admits that the guests may try to convince the Ukrainian president to agree to a diplomatic settlement of the situation and abandon plans to return the liberated territories under the control of Kyiv.

“Maybe they will (offer a ceasefire and abandon attempts to return the south. – Approx. ed.). But I’m afraid to even reproduce what he will answer, ”Arestovich said.

In his opinion, Zelensky will refuse any peace initiative.

Teretsky TV channel NTV believes that among the issues discussed will be Turkey’s mediation in the exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine.

A Haber TV channel notes that the visit of the Turkish leader to Lviv became known even on the eve of his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Sochi. A TK correspondent based in Ukraine does not rule out that “Erdogan will offer Zelensky to organize his meeting with Putin.”

According to CNN Türk, Russia has softened the conditions for a possible personal meeting between Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky.

“Leaders can meet and define a roadmap. Then the delegations can start working on bringing this roadmap to life,” the TV channel reports.

How much this corresponds to the real position of the parties may become clear after the Lvov meeting. Chairman of the Center for Crisis and Political Studies (Ankara), professor Mehmet Seyfaddin Arol told RIA Novosti that Erdogan in Lvov will have a mission to reason with Kyiv.

“Turkey will try to explain in detail to the Ukrainian side the threats regarding energy, food, and nuclear security, from a regional and international point of view,” he said. l

This, in his opinion, will be facilitated by Erdogan’s knowledge of Russia’s position to the smallest detail.

Even if it is possible to agree on the resumption of diplomatic negotiations at least in some format, Erdogan and Guterres will be able to record this as an asset. In the meantime, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the transfer to the Kaliningrad region of three MiG-31K with hypersonic missiles “Dagger” as part of the strategic deterrence, which will be on combat duty around the clock.

N.s. Sector of Turkey of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey Amur Hajiyev believes that, given the presence of Guterres and Erdogan, the meeting will be held in the context of the grain issue.

– Ankara plans to use the developments reached under the agreement on the grain issue for a larger settlement of the Ukrainian conflict. They will probably try to work out the mechanisms that were discussed during the Sochi talks. I think there will be a discussion platform: they will see what Zelensky is ready to do, what support the UN can provide, and what role Turkey is ready to play.

It is not necessary to expect specific proposals during the trilateral meeting, at the same time, it is noteworthy that within its framework there is no West, which both Turkey and Russia in the context of the Ukrainian conflict is perceived as a destructive element. I think this is a plus: it is possible that proposals will be developed that can form the basis of a roadmap for the Russia-Turkey-Ukraine trilateral initiative with the support of the UN.

“SP”: – Why was Turkey actually in the center of the meeting?

– The Turkish initiative is being traced. The meeting, obviously, takes place on the initiative of Turkey, which is trying to act as a mediator not only for the grain corridor, but also for the Ukrainian settlement. Turkey has reasons for this and certain expectations. In particular, it positions itself as a regional player capable of influencing world politics. Turkey’s participation in solving the global food problem, as it was positioned in the West, gives Ankara grounds to declare itself as one of the centers of the multipolar world.

Turkey’s desire to continue this work and reach a completely new level is traced, since it is known that the Ukrainian situation is a conflict with global consequences, the attention of the world community is riveted to this problem, and the further fate of the international order will, without exaggeration, depend on its resolution. Erdogan wants to take part in resolving both the global food problem and the Ukrainian conflict.

“SP”: – Maybe Erdogan will recommend Zelensky to accept, finally, the conditions of Russia. Or advise to resign altogether, given that the West is tired of Ukraine in general, and Zelensky in particular. The topic of replacing Zelensky with the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny, for example, has been actively discussed recently in the media and social networks.

“I don’t know how much influence Erdogan has to recommend something to Kyiv or Zelensky. At the same time, it is possible that some of the provisions reached in the framework of the Sochi talks will be conveyed to Zelensky.

It is obvious that Russia is counting on Turkey’s constructive role and that Ankara will direct its existing influence and resources in a constructive direction in order to resolve the Ukrainian conflict. In this context, it can be assumed that some proposals by Erdogan will be announced to Zelensky and, perhaps, they were previously agreed with Putin, but it is difficult to say which ones specifically.

It is unlikely that the West has given Ankara a mandate to propose fundamental changes in Ukraine to Zelensky on its behalf. Rather, we are talking about some superficial, framework issues. The solution of cardinal issues without the participation of the West, it seems to me, will be quite difficult. Considering the recent relations between Turkey and the West, the discontent that is growing in the West in connection with the development of relations between Turkey and Russia, it seems to me that the West will be against such independence of Erdogan.

Polithologist, expert of the Valdai International Discussion Club Farhad Ibragimov believes that Erdogan’s task is to convince Zelensky and the Kyiv regime to cease fire and shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, understanding what catastrophic consequences can be, sit down at the negotiating table with Russia, and also discuss humanitarian issues.

– I don’t think Erdogan will call on Zelensky to resign, but I think that the Turkish leader will try to convince him to calm down and not provoke the situation, accept Russia’s compromise conditions and finally behave more consistently and more logically

Of course, the situation with the ZNPP is essentially the main aspect during the negotiations, since Turkey is well aware of what the catastrophe at the ZNPP could lead to if the Armed Forces of Ukraine and groups not controlled by Zelensky fire at the nuclear power plant. The Kyiv regime is behaving absolutely recklessly and carelessly, Ankara will try to clarify this issue and protect Kyiv from rash acts

“SP”: – Why does Guterres come to Lviv, but does not hurry to Moscow?

– In my opinion, Guterres does not act independently, because if he led the policy of the UN line, then his rhetoric would be much more pragmatic and more precise. He would go to Moscow, conduct an independent investigation, and only in this way would he be able to assess the essence of what is happening, really understanding who is right and who is wrong. Therefore, there is reason to believe that he is acting according to Western instructions in order to force Russia to make concessions, and that he is going to act on behalf of the UN.

“SP”: – What to expect from the meeting in Lviv?

“I’m skeptical because I don’t see any major breakthrough being made. Zelensky and his Western curators have no desire to reach an agreement, although I think that Erdogan will try to do everything possible, and the Turkish president is well aware that Zelensky is not independent and will first consult with Washington and London, and then make a decision. Based on this, the only possible breakthrough is if the Armed Forces of Ukraine stop shelling the ZNPP.

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