KRAMATORSK, Ukraine/ANKARA

Turkiye is ready to do its part to end tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

Erdogan’s remarks came at a joint news conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

Before the news conference, the two leaders discussed developments in the region and bilateral relations for over three hours.

“I have emphasized that Turkiye would be glad to host a summit (between Russia and Ukraine) at leaders level, or discussions at technical level,” Erdogan said.

Before the joint news conference, the top authorities from Turkish and Ukrainian sides signed a total of eight cooperation agreements, including a free trade agreement, and memoranda of understanding.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in conflict since hostilities in the eastern Donbas region broke out in 2014 after Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia has also recently amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against the former Soviet republic.

Moscow has denied it is preparing to invade and said its troops are there for exercises.

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