Turkey says Russia ready to improve rights of Crimean Tatars

2 December 2014 10:02

Russia says it is ready to grant the ethnic and cultural rights of Crimean Tatar people, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.

"We found [Russia’s] approach positive on the situation of Crimean Tatars. They say they are ready to provide Crimean Tatars with the rights which they have not been able to obtain thus far," Erdogan said in a joint press conference with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan said Moscow has already declared Crimean Tatars' language an official language.

Russia joined Crimea in March after a local referendum. Crimean unification with Russia, gowever, was recognized illegitimate by Kyiv, the US and the EU.

Turkey is among the countries which opposes the annexation of Crimea and defends the territorial integrity of Ukraine, still did not join the Western-led economic sanctions on Russia.