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Ukraine war: Hope rises for peace as Turkey hints of Putin’s willingness to end war

Photo: Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Vladimir Putin last week in Uzbekistan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he believes Russia’s leader is seeking an end to the war he began in Ukraine, and that a “significant step” will be made.

According to BBC.com, Erdogan said his impression from recent talks with Vladimir Putin was that he wanted to “end this as soon as possible”.

Ukraine has recaptured swathes of its territory this month.

The Turkish leader indicated things were “quite problematic” for Russia.

Mr Erdogan spoke of having “very extensive discussions” with Mr Putin at a summit in Uzbekistan last week.

In an interview with US broadcaster PBS, the Turkish leader said he gained the impression that the Russian president wanted a speedy end to the war.

“He is actually showing me that he’s willing to end this as soon as possible,” Mr Erdogan said. “That was my impression, because the way things are going right now are quite problematic.”

He also said 200 “hostages” would soon be exchanged between the two sides. He gave no further detail of who would be included in such a prisoner swap.

Mr Erdogan has repeatedly sought to mediate during the war, promoting a “balanced” stance for Nato member Turkey, while opposing Western sanctions on Russia.

He helped the UN mediate a resumption of grain exports from Ukraine and said last week he was trying to organise direct ceasefire talks.

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