Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday affirmed Ankara’s support for Kyiv and expressed alarm at the risk of a nuclear power plant disaster during his first visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
“While continuing our efforts to find a solution, we remain on the side of our Ukrainian friends,” he said at a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Lviv, Ukraine.
“We are worried. We do not want another new Chernobyl,” Erdogan said in reference to the nuclear power plant of Zaporizhzhia, occupied by Russia.
Mr. Erdogan specified that the issue of prisoner swaps between Ukraine and Russia was also discussed during the summit. “I want to make it clear that this is an important subject for us. (…). We will continue to talk about that with Mr. Putin,” he said.
The Turkish president last met his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on 5 August in Sochi, Russia.
While swiftly condemning the Russian offensive, Turkey opted for neutrality between the two countries and did not join Western sanctions against Moscow. Ankara is also supplying Ukraine with its famous Bayraktar-TB2 combat drones, with proven effectiveness against Russian tanks.