Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation of Crimean Tatars and the crisis in Ukraine in a phone call, Turkish premier's office reported.

Erdogan said it was essential that Moscow protect the rights of Crimean Tatars after Russia annexed the peninsula in March, urging the Russian president to consult with Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people.

The Turkish premier added that lifting the ban on Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev's entry into the Crimean peninsula and meeting with the head of Mejlis Refat Chubarov, would be 'positive' steps Moscow can take.

To recall, on March 21, Putin signed into law the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine following a referendum in the peninsula.

QHA