Lavrov in Turkey to discuss Ukraine grain exports


As Ukraine receives multiple-launch rocket systems and more sophisticated weapons, Moscow has vowed that it will retaliate by pushing its enemies further away…reports Asian Lite News

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who is in Ankara along with a high-level Russian military delegation, will be meeting his Turkish counterpart M Cavusoglu with not just the situation in Ukraine but also Syria on his mind.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had recently announced the launch of a new military operation in northern Syria, a move which has been opposed by Moscow, Washington and also New Delhi.

As reported by last week, while India has highlighted “acts of external players” contributing to the inability to tackle terrorism in Syria, Russia said that it “received with alarm” reports of Turkey’s new military operation in northern Syria which could allow Ankara to take 600 km of the Syrian-Turkish border under its control.

“Such a step, in the absence of the consent of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic, would constitute a direct violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR), and would provoke an additional escalation of tension in this country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had said on Thursday.

Around Ukraine, while Lavrov has said that he would not like to comment on Ankara playing any role in the issue of normalizing the situation, he insisted that his visit would take forward the telephone conversation held between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently.

MOSCOW, March 5, 2020 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow, Russia, on March 5, 2020. Russia and Turkey agreed Thursday on a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, after talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan which lasted for about six hours. (Sputnik/Handout via Xinhua/IANS)

“President Putin outlined in detail how to unblock food supplies from the Black Sea ports mined by Ukrainians, from the ports of the Sea of Azov controlled and cleared by the Russian Federation. Of these, there are reliable routes through the Kerch Strait to the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles,” said the Russian foreign minister before leaving for Ankara.

Russia has maintained that its military has been declaring humanitarian corridors in the Black and Azov Seas for the exit of foreign ships, which are being “held hostage” by the Ukrainian authorities.

“In order for ships to use these corridors, the Ukrainians must clear mines. Our Turkish colleagues declared their readiness to help in this. I think our military will agree on how best to organize this, so that through the minefields that need to be removed, the ships go to the open sea. Further, we guarantee – independently or with Turkish colleagues – their fine-tuning to the straits and further to the Mediterranean Sea,” said Lavrov.

As Ukraine receives multiple-launch rocket systems and more sophisticated weapons, Moscow has vowed that it will retaliate by pushing its enemies further away.

“The more long-range systems are supplied to the Kyiv regime, the further we will move the Nazis away from the line from which the threats to the Russian population of Ukraine and the Russian Federation come from,” said Lavrov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already warned of destroying those military facilities in Ukraine that have not yet been targeted by the Russian forces if Kyiv continues to receive supply of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) from the West.

Lavrov said that the newly supplied weapons to Ukraine are capable of hitting targets not only near the border, but also “more remote regions” of the Russian Federation.

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