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Turkey could play 'mediator role' in Russia-Ukraine crisis: Erdogan

AFP  |  Istanbul 

on Thursday said could play a mediation role to ease tensions between and after the seizure of three Ukrainian ships by sparked a major new crisis.

Ankara's often brittle relations with have flourished since mid-2016 in a rapprochement that has sometimes troubled the West. is working closely with on the conflict and is also purchasing sophisticated Russian

But Erdogan has always sought to emphasise the importance of Turkey's traditionally strong relations with Ukraine, even as and remain at loggerheads.

"Here we could take on a role and we have discussed this with both sides," Erdogan told reporters at before heading to the summit in

His comments came after on Wednesday which saw Erdogan hold talks with Russian and Ukrainian counterpart Erdogan also talked to US

"Both Mr Putin and Mr Poroshenko in our talks made requests. We will convey the (Ukrainian) demands to Mr Putin in our meeting in Argentina," added Erdogan, saying the issue would also be discussed in his talks with Trump in

is keen not to see any further escalation in the conflict between its fellow littoral states which could bring further instability to the region.

Moscow and have traded angry accusations since vessels fired on, boarded and captured the three Ukrainian ships off the Ukrainian peninsula of which was annexed by in 2014.

After warning of the threat of "full-scale war", Poroshenko on Wednesday signed an act imposing for 30 days in regions bordering Russia, the and the has demanded the return of its ships and the release of 24 sailors taken prisoner during the confrontation.

Tensions between Kiev and Moscow spilt over into confrontation when pro-EU protests in led to the ousting of president in 2014.

Russia annexed while separatists seized parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of eastern Ukraine, declaring unrecognised breakaway statelets in a conflict that remains unresolved.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 14:10 IST