Skip to content
Edit post

Erdogan: Return of Azovstal defenders now "a positive" in relations with Russia

by Abbey Fenbert July 13, 2023 1:28 AM 2 min read
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at a press conference at the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 12, 2023. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a press conference that the decision to return the Azovstal defenders to Ukraine did not harm Turkey's relationship with Russia, journalists from European Pravda reported.

The officers, captured by Russian forces while defending the Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol, were offered asylum in Turkey after Ukraine and Russia reached a prisoner exchange deal in September.

Erdogan addressed the issue at a press conference following the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 12. According to Erdogan, Turkey agreed to allow the officers to return to Ukraine at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"When we received this request, we handed over these commanders," Erdogan said.

Under the original conditions of the exchange deal, the Azovstal commanders were expected to remain in Turkey until the end of the war. Russian officials claimed that their transfer to Ukraine violated this agreement.

Erdogan said, however, that the move has not damaged relations with Moscow.

"At first, Russia was outraged, and then it turned into a positive thing," Erdogan told reporters.

He said that he expects to discuss the matter at a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in September.

The Azovstal defenders were granted asylum in Turkey in exchange for the release of 55 unnamed Russian officers.  On July 8, the five commanders returned to Ukraine on a plane with President Zelensky.

Yermak: 45 Azovstal defenders return home from Russian captivity
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak reported on May 6 that 45 Ukrainian prisoners of war had returned home from Russian captivity as part of a prisoner exchange.
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
10:26 PM

Senate Democrats back Johnson's foreign aid bills.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on April 19 that Senate Democrats will support House Speaker Mike Johnson's series of bills that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other priorities if they pass the House.
10:01 PM

Russian attack on Kherson kills 80-year-old woman.

In a post on Telegram, the head of the city's military administration, Roman Mrochko, said the victim was walking the streets when she was hit in an attack launched from the occupied east bank of Kherson.
7:20 PM

Netherlands allocates over $210 million for ammunition for Ukraine.

Specifically, the country is devoting 150 million euros ($160 million) to Germany's Immediate Action on Air Defence initiative. The Netherlands has also allocated 60 million euros ($64 million) for the purchase of short-range air defense hardware, for example, to combat Russian drones.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.