The pursuit of $10 billion and a step towards a new exchange of prisoners, a gas mirage and assistance to the military, and the possible pulling into other people’s political showdowns. Turkish President Recep Erdogan completed a one-day visit to Ukraine. UA-Times’s report will told more about the visit.
Ten billion and gas mirage
Erdogan arrived in Kyiv, on a motorcade of 19 cars. With President of Ukraine volodymyr Zelensky talked face to face. Following the meeting, a number of documents were signed – an agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Turkish government on military-technical cooperation, a protocol on the implementation of financial assistance to the Armed Forces, an agreement on the mutual recognition of driver’s licenses, and an on the warning agreement in emergency situations.
At the press conference, Zelensky raised another topic in Ukrainian-Turkish relations — the creation of a free trade zone. Negotiations on the establishment of a free trade zone between Ukraine and Turkey began in 2011, but were suspended. Contacts on this issue resumed only after three years. To date, according to the Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey Andriy Sibigi, an agreement on the establishment of the zone has been agreed in the rate of 95%.
“We planned to increase the volume of bilateral trade to $10 billion … and We agreed to give an impetus to people who are working on an agreement on a free trade zone,” Zelensky said.
An agreement was reached to “update the proposals of the parties”. Today we actually agreed to update the proposals of both parties, including in the agreed part, this would make it possible to review the results of the negotiations of past years,Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka wrote on facebook.
Zelensky and Erdogan discussed the gas issue.
“Important for us is the diversification of energy supply sources. We discussed the possibility of gas supplies through the TANAP gas pipeline, ”Zelensky said.
While the gas pipeline has been completed only to Turkey, however, it is assumed that one of its branches will supply gas to Bulgaria, the delivery of Azerbaijani ( possibly Turkish gas) to Ukraine is theoretically possible. the real terms and volumes unknown till now.
Another topic was the supply of An-178 aircraft. However, no specific arrangements have been reported.
New exchange hopes
One of the topics of the meeting of the presidents was the issue of the return of prisoners. Zelensky expects the prisoners exchange will be soon.
“The first direction is the exchange of our prisoners who are imprisoned in the temporarily occupied territory. A list is being prepared there. The list is very large. We have already transferredl it and will be agreed in Minsk. I think that in the near future will be dates, Why this is first – because there are a lot of people there, “Zelensky said.
The negotiations are underway on the return of Ukrainians held captive in Russia. However, UA-Times sources from Zelensky’s team doubt of an exchange in the near future.
Millions for Army and the Turkish showdown
The visit of Erdogan brought financial assistance to army. In 2019, “Turkey would provide assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, the former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that.
“Regarding the ban on Gülen movement “FETO” that are behind educational institutions in Ukraine. This issue has already been on the agenda between Ukraine and Turkey for many years. Today I received very detailed things, facts from Turkish President. I passed all this information to our head of the Security Service of Ukraine, who should deal with this issue, ”Zelensky said.
The FETO issue is sensitive for Ukraine. The leader of the movement Fethullah Gulen suspects of organizing an attempt of a military coup in 2016.
Turkish authorities are demanding that he be extradited. In 2018, Ankara officially has repeatedly requested this from United States , also turkey requested extradition of 452 movement supporters from 83 countries around the world.
Five of bilateral partnerships
Military-technical cooperation with Turkey could lead to the opening of at least five joint ventures for the development, production and sale of weapons, director of the Institute for Political Analysis and International Studies Sergey Tolstov noted reported UA-Times.
“Turkey has a great interest in Ukraine. On the one hand, the Black Sea and the most effective military-technical cooperation with any other country in the world. This is not about the planned joint development of production and the purchase of equipment”, Tolstov added.
When asked about the possible US reaction to the interest of Ukrainian law authorities in FETO, “Zelensky wants to make friends with Erdogan, since this is important for bilateral relations”, Tolstov noted.
That criticism is possible only from opponents of the current administration: “Liberal organizations and Freedom House will certainly note this, but for Ukraine now the position of the Democratic Funds is not as important as a partnership with Erdogan … And in the United States, Bankova is more oriented towards republicans “.