Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently spoke to the media before his departure for Argentina to attend G-20 meetings, at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, early Thursday, November 29, 2018 and said that he had discussed the possibility of Ankara becoming an intermediary in the settlement of the crisis that followed the incident in the Kerch Strait near Crimea with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
His comments came after an intense telephone diplomacy on Wednesday which saw Erdogan hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. Erdogan also talked to US President Donald Trump.
“Both Mr Putin and Mr Poroshenko in our talks made requests. We will convey the (Ukrainian) demands to Mr Putin in our meeting in Argentina,” said Erdogan. Tensions between Kiev and Moscow spilt over into confrontation when pro-EU protests in Ukraine led to the ousting of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
— EconomicTimes (@EconomicTimes) November 29, 2018
After warning of the threat of “full-scale war”, Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President, on Wednesday, signed an act imposing martial law for 30 days in regions bordering Russia, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Kiev has demanded the return of its ships and the release of 24 sailors taken prisoner during the confrontation. Declaring a state of martial law gives Poroshenko sweeping powers to suspend human rights and democratic freedoms over much of the country.
Putin has stated that the incident appeared to have been a provocation prepared in advance as well as a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine ahead of the country’s presidential election. Critics claim that the Ukrainian President has very little chance of winning the upcoming Presidential elections in March 2019.