Zelenskyy arrives in Turkey: details of the visit

Lilia RagutskaPolitics
Zelenskyy arrived in Istanbul and held negotiations with Erdogan. Illustrative photo

On 7 July, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Turkey to meet with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meeting will take place at the Vahdettin Presidential Residence in Istanbul.

The visit was announced on the President's Telegram channel. "We are finishing a busy day in Turkey. Negotiations with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan," the message reads.

During the negotiations, the leaders of Ukraine and Turkey will discuss a number of issues, including a grain deal, the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia, and support for Ukraine's membership in NATO.

"Coordination of positions on the peace formula, the NATO summit, security guarantees and the grain initiative. Restoration of Ukraine, defence contracts between our companies," the guarantor said.

Zelenskyy and Erdogan met in Istanbul on 6 July, the Directorate of Communications of the Turkish Presidential Administration reported.

"The Turkish presidential administration announced on Thursday that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Friday," the statement said.

Zelenskyy confirmed the information about the planned meeting during a joint press conference with Czech President Petr Pavel.

"Regarding Turkey. Today we must bring together all the leaders of the Alliance to put pressure on Russia not only on the battlefield. We need to put pressure together. We have several issues to discuss. This is the grain initiative. This is a very important issue of support for Ukraine in NATO. This is the exchange of prisoners," the President outlined the topics of the meeting.

Zelenskyy paid a visit to Turkey on the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius, which will take place on 11-12 July. There, Ukraine expects specifics on joining the Alliance.

The meeting with Erdogan was particularly important because the grain deal brokered by Turkey expires on 17 July. Russia has traditionally resorted to blackmail again, stating that it sees no reason to extend the agreement. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in particular, stated that the aggressor state categorically refused to extend the agreement.

Turkish media also reported that after the meeting with Zelenskyy, Erdogan may have a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As a reminder, on Thursday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived on a visit to Bulgaria, where he met with the country's prime minister and president. The Ukrainian president then travelled to Prague, and from there he went to Slovakia on 7 July.

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