Turkey will send its military men to participate in Cooperative Best Effort 2020 military exercises in Ukraine.
The presidents of the two countries discussed this issue, having touched upon the prospect of signing the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the defense sphere by the end of the year.
According to the press service of the Ukrainian president, the conversation was long. The parties discussed issues of economic cooperation, in particular, projects for the construction of roads in Ukraine, as well as the creation of a township for settlers from the Crimea in the Kherson region.
Cooperative Best Effort 2020 exercise comes as a response to Caucasus 2020 military exercise in the Crimea. Ukraine has already released a statement saying that the Russian exercise "will develop into aggression."
Ukraine's Defense Minister Andrei Taran assured that everything is quiet on the peninsula. The Defense Ministry also noted that they wanted to use the exercises "to test the ability of the General Staff in the new structure to act in accordance with NATO standards, to arrange interaction with command posts of the Armed Forces of NATO."
Up to 120,000 troops, as well as about 300 aircraft, 250 helicopters, 50 ships, 3,000 armored vehicles are to take part in the exercises.
After the exercises, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy may go to Turkey. For Kiev, this visit is important for the reason that Zelensky's team intends to create an international platform "for the de-occupation of the Crimea," which can hardly be possible without Turkey's participation.
Turkey's explosive success in the beginning of the 21st century (and above all, in the economy) was made possible owing to the efforts of its perhaps most pro-Western and pro-liberal government that Turkey has seen in its history.
In the first half of the AKP rule (Justice and Development Party), Turkey was an integral part of the greater West, the "Islamic democratic model" for the entire Middle East - with the Kurdish "opening," restriction of the army influence, pro-European reforms, etc.
Actually, Kiev does not care - it is working diligently to attract Europe to its problems. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, after a recent meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, noted that the Crimea would always be on the agenda.
Ukraine wants to keep the issue of the Crimea as a priority for the West, ensuring the policy of non-recognition of the Crimea and the policy of sanctions against Russia. Therefore, Ukraine needs players from the EU, the US and the UK.
Earlier it was reported that Ukraine wanted to obtain the status of the observer in the Turkic Council, which incorporates Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, in order to use the organization as a platform for voicing the problem.
Nevertheless, Zelensky stressed in an interview with Euronews that one should have addressed the issue earlier.
"We should not have given the Crimea away. This is a big problem. Today, however, we can no longer punch the air while talking about it. I am sure that one day everyone will be responsible for this."
In the meantime, Ukraine will cry for help to everyone who is not tired of listening to these cries. This could also be a technique, a useless one, though.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko had a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan