Russian, Turkish ministers focus on after Turkey sends Ukrainian commanders home

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(Reuters) – The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey spoke by phone on Sunday, a day after Ankara angered Moscow by sending five Ukrainian commanders home with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in what Russia known as a violation of a prisoner alternate settlement.

The Russian and Turkish foreign ministries acknowledged Sergei Lavrov and Hakan Fidan mentioned the field in Ukraine, as effectively as a Shadowy Sea grain export settlement that lifted a Russian de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports ideal year.

Moscow has threatened to forestall the grain export deal when it comes up for renewal on July 17, asserting requires to facilitate gross sales of its maintain grain and fertiliser bear no longer been met.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged on Saturday that he became urgent Russia to extend the deal, brokered ideal year by Ankara and the United International locations, by no less than three months.

The Russian ministry acknowledged the 2 aspects had targeted on recent dispositions around Ukraine, along with Ankara’s returning detained commanders of Ukraine’s Azov unit, which defended a steelworks in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol ideal year.

Russia captured the city ideal year after laying it to atomize, killing hundreds of civilians in a 3-month siege. The Azov unit led the city’s defence, conserving out in the steelworks for weeks until they were ordered by Kyiv to resign.

The captured Azov commanders, lionized as heroes in Ukraine and vilified in Russia, were released in a prisoner swap in September, below terms that required them to preserve in Turkey until the war ends. Zelenskiy introduced them home on Saturday after a focus on over with to Turkey.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged on Saturday that Turkey had violated agreements in permitting their launch, and had didn’t assert Russia in intention.

Ankara has no longer commented publicly in regards to the decision to ship them home. Turkey’s presidency and foreign ministry did no longer acknowledge to Reuters requests for comment.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Enhancing by Peter Graff)

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