During a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sept. 28, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia's "unilateral" referendums held in Russian-occupied territories of four Ukrainian regions will complicate efforts to revive the "diplomatic process."
According to a statement released by Erdogan's office, he also said that Turkey "stands ready to provide every kind of support for the settlement of the war through peaceful negotiations."
Following the phone call, Zelensky thanked Erdogan "for the unwavering support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, as well as for the principled position on non-recognition of the illegal pseudo-referendums that Russia held in the occupied territories."
Erdogan also offered to facilitate the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in occupied Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Russia, which has been shelling Ukrainian positions from the plant, is accused of using it as a shield and a tool of nuclear blackmail.
On Sept. 28, Russia declared a 98% secession support rate in illegal referendums held at gunpoint in the occupied territories in Ukraine.
Moscow is expected to use these "results" as a pretext to illegally annex parts of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, as it did with Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Kyiv had warned that there will be no negotiations with Russia if the shame referendums are held.
for an independent Ukraine