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Erdogan urges end to Ukraine war in call with Russia’s Putin

Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated the need for an “immediate cessation” of the Ukraine war during a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan conveyed to Putin “the importance Türkiye attaches to the immediate cessation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict through negotiations,” the Turkish Communications Directorate said in a statement on Saturday.

He also thanked Putin for his “positive stance regarding the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.”

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed the Black Sea deal in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian ports that were blocked after the war began in February.

The agreement was extended for a second time last week for 120 days, just before it was due to expire.

READ MORE: Türkiye’s Erdogan announces extension of Ukraine grain deal

Boosting Türkiye-Russia ties

Erdogan and Putin also discussed “steps to strengthen Türkiye-Russia relations,” the statement added.

The Turkish president said the countries “could take further steps based on the economic cooperation agreed upon in Sochi,” referring to their meeting in the Russian resort city last August.

During those talks, Erdogan and Putin had agreed to boost bilateral trade volume to $100 billion and take concrete steps to strengthen energy, trade and economic cooperation.

Erdogan had said they reached an agreement to use the Russian ruble for trade and signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral economic and commercial ties.

READ MORE: Turkish delegation to visit Russia ahead of top regional diplomats’ meeting

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