Turkey is not and will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced this statement at a joint press conference marking the results of the meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ankara.
The Head of the Turkish state noted that Ankara supports the Minsk process and the OSCE mission, led by Turkish diplomats. He expressed the condolences to the relatives of four Ukrainian soldiers who died in the Donbas on August 6.
Erdoğan said that Turkey wishes early resolution of conflict in eastern Ukraine within the framework of international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The Turkish Leader said that during the face-to-face meeting with Zelenskyy, the Presidents considered all aspects of Turkish-Ukrainian relations and decided to “finalize the process” by signing the Free Trade Agreement.
Erdoğan expressed his satisfaction with the trade turnover between both countries which reached 4 billion USD in 2018, however, he noted that both leaders agreed to raise it up to 10 billion USD.
The Turkish President also noted that in 2018, 1 million 300 thousand Ukrainian tourists visited Turkey and this is the best indicator of how humanitarian relations between the two nations are developing.
In turn, before the speech, President Zelenskyy requested all those present to honour a moment of silence in memory of the four died marines in Donbas and expressed a gratitude to Erdoğan for “calling things by their names”, in particular, recognizing that Crimea is annexed by Russia.
Zelenskyy informed that he discussed with Turkish President the problems regarding the persecution of Crimean Tatars in Crimea and the violation of human rights on the peninsula.
He expressed his hope that Ukraine will find a way to force Russia respecting international law resulting in return Crimea and release all Ukrainian war and political prisoners of the Kremlin.
Also, the Ukrainian Leader said that if Ukraine and Turkey jointly strengthen their cooperation, the peace comes in the Black Sea region.
Zelenskyy called on Turkish investors to invest in reconstruction of Donbas and to take part in the forum, which will be held this year in Mariupol, dedicated to investments in eastern Ukraine.
He added that the country's economy will grow by 5-7% per year, and Ukraine will become a magnet for foreign investors, and therefore he personally acts as a guarantor for Turkish investors.
The Head of the Ukrainian state also noted that as was said at the behind closed doors negotiation between Zelenskyy and Erdoğan, the signing of the FTA Agreement would lead to an increase in trade turnover up to 10 billion USD.
Summing up the press conference, the Ukrainian President said that the Turkish land has already given Ukraine great victories.