Turkey Demands Return of Crimea, Suppression of Donbass, NATO Membership for Ukraine | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Turkey Demands Return of Crimea, Suppression of Donbass, NATO Membership for Ukraine

Two days after donning combat gear while visiting government troops at the Donbass battle line, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flew to the Turkish capital of Ankara to join the nation’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, in a tête-à-tête and a meeting of the Strategic Ukrainian-Turkish Council that produced a twenty-point statement. In that document Turkey fully backs the position of Ukraine and its backers in the U.S., NATO and European Union in regard to forcing the Donetsk and Lugansk republics to return to Ukraine, forcing Russia out of Crimea and granting NATO membership to Kiev.

The website of the Ukrainian head of state confirms that “all aspects of the strategic partnership between the two countries were considered at today’s [April 10th] meeting.” Zelensky is cited emphasizing commitments to joint work in the energy sphere and in weapons manufacturing. The energy factor involves among other matters the prospect of Ukraine connecting with the 1,100-mile Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline running from the Caspian Sea region to Turkey. Routing oil and gas from Turkey to Ukraine and beyond to the rest of Europe would jeopardize Russia’s role as energy provider to EU nations.

In terms of defense industry cooperation, already extensive, the joint production of military aircraft was discussed. Zelensky stated that Turkish-Ukrainian defense cooperation is “the locomotive of the strategic partnership between the two countries.” Turkey of course is a NATO member; in fact is NATO’s second-largest member in terms of both population and the size of its armed forces. The joint statement expresses support for “for the prospect of Ukraine’s NATO membership, in particular its intention to obtain a Membership Action Plan in the near future, and to note the desire to promote interoperability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the armed forces of Allies.”