Ukraine sees Turkey as a partner for global platform on Crimea - foreign minister

Ukraine’s foreign minister has called for a global platform on Crimea and considers Ankara a strong candidate for a partner for such a formation, according to an exclusive interview published by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday. 

Dmytro Kuleba said there is currently no international mechanism that exists to solve the status of the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014 following an invasion by disguised Russian soldiers and a referendum that international observers found to be deeply flawed.

“I would like to remind you that in 2014 when both Crimea was illegally occupied and the war in Donbass started, Normandy format, and Trilateral Contact Group were set up to handle the Donbass situation,’’ Dmytro Kuleba told Anadolu. “But no international mechanism was created to deal with Crimea. So, we are correcting this mistake.”

Kuleba also believes that Turkey would be a “good partner” on this mechanism. 

“We are grateful to Turkey for consistently and firmly supporting territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and also the willingness of President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan to engage with the Ukrainian president on resolving issues related to this situation, to this conflict, in particular when it comes to the destiny of Crimean Tatars living under the Russian occupation in Crimea.” said Kuleba. 

This interview took place as a delegation of Ukrainian officials, including Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, paid a visit to Turkey. There discussions were held to boost bilateral trade in particular on defence matters. Last month, President Erdogan signed an agreement with President Volodomyr Zelensky of Ukraine pledging millions in assistance to build Ukraine’s military.