On Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged Turkey's support for Ukraine and warned that a nuclear power plant controlled by invading Russian soldiers could experience "another Chernobyl" tragedy.
Just two weeks after travelling to Sochi for discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Turkish leader met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Lviv. During those meetings, the two leaders committed to enhancing their economic cooperation.
Erdogan, though, assured reporters that Turkey, a member of NATO, was still firmly on Ukraine's side in the war and would keep up its diplomatic efforts to put a stop to the hostilities.
“While continuing our efforts to find a solution, we remain on the side of our Ukraine friends,” Erdogan said.
His talks with Zelensky and visiting UN chief Antonio Guterres — both men’s first since Russia’s February invasion — came with global alarm rising about fighting that has raged around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The Russian-held facility has been experiencing days of shelling.
“We are worried. We do not want another Chernobyl,” said the Turkish leader.
Erdogan only mentioned Putin once in his comments to reporters.
“We discussed the exchange of prisoners of war and our initiatives in this regard,” Erdogan said.
“We will continue to talk about that with Mr. Putin.”