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President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting on March 8, 2024. (Volodymyr Zelensky/X)
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Editor's note: This is a developing story.

President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Turkey on March 8 to meet his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Among the topics the Ukrainian and Turkish leaders are planning to discuss are Ukraine's peace formula, the safety of navigation in the Black Sea, as well as the release of Ukrainian prisoners held by Russia, the President's Office said.

This is Zelensky’s second visit to this country since Russia launched its full-scale invasion against Ukraine.

After the previous trip in July 2023, Zelensky brought home five commanding officers who defended the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, and had been kept in Turkey under the personal guarantees of Erdogan after a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia.

Zelensky said he had visited the shipyard to inspect the building of corvettes for the Ukrainian Navy, and had spoken with Ukrainian Navy personnel. He is also expected to meet with representatives of Turkish defense companies.

At about 7 p.m., Zelensky wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that his meeting with Erdogan had started.

The Associated Press, citing an unnamed Turkish government official, reported that during the talks in Istanbul, Erdogan was planning to "press for negotiations to end Russia’s war in Ukraine."

The final rounds of unsuccessful peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow in 2022 took place in the Turkish city of Antalya. Maintaining close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, Ankara sought to position itself as a mediator in the war.

In late January, Russian state-run media reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was making preparations to visit Turkey in February and meet with Erdogan. Soon after this, the Kremlin said that Putin would arrive to Turkey after the Russian presidential election set on March 15-17.

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