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Ukraine to sign deal during Erdogan visit on building drones

Ukraine and Turkey will sign a framework agreement on manufacturing Turkish drones in Ukraine, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told a briefing ahead of a visit by President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Erdogan is visiting his counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy after pitching Turkey as a mediator to ease tensions with Russia. 

Erdogan’s visit to Turkey’s fellow Black Sea nation comes after visits to Kyiv by leaders of NATO members Britain, Poland, and the Netherlands amid the standoff. Turkey has good ties with Kyiv and Moscow but has said it would do what is necessary as a NATO member “if Russia invades.”

Russia has denied plans to invade Ukraine amid concern by many Western nations.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for Ukraine, Erdogan said Turkey was calling on both sides to seek dialogue, adding the crisis must be resolved peacefully on the basis of international law.

“Today, we will have our meeting with Mr Zelenskiy. After a visit to China, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has told us he would travel to Turkey,” he said. “Without holding these two visits, these talks, it would not be right to think about what we can do.”

“God willing we will successfully overcome this problematic period between these two countries,” Erdogan said, adding that statements from both Ukraine and Russia had so far played down the prospect of a direct military conflict.

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