Ankara will remain Kyiv’s strategic partner, says Ukrainian envoy

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ANKARA

Ankara is and will remain Kyiv’s strategic partner, the Ukrainian ambassador to Turkey said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence Day, Vasyl Bodnar hailed Türkiye’s mediating role in securing a grain export deal signed in Istanbul last month.

“We very much appreciate Turkey’s decision to close the Istanbul and Canakkale straits to Russian warships going to war in Ukraine,” Bodnar said.

He said they would invite Turkish companies to help rebuild Ukraine, adding, “Turkey is our friend and we are always open and honest with our friends.”

The ambassador noted that they received invaluable support from the Turkish people after the war started in late February.

Calling attention to the importance of the Istanbul agreement, Bodnar said Ukraine needs more vessels to export its grain in a safer and faster way.

Last month, Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian Black Sea ports for the export of Ukrainian grain blocked due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, which is now in its seventh month.

Cereal exports have already stabilized international markets by reducing inflated prices, he said, adding that these developments will contribute to the complete removal of the food crisis from the global agenda.

He also underlined the role of Turkey and the UN in securing the agreement and noted that Kyiv expects Moscow to fully comply with the terms of the agreement.

“As today marks the sixth month of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, it’s safe to say that Russia’s plans for a victory have been shattered,” Bodnar said.

Ukraine successfully defended its major cities, including the capital Kyiv, Sumi, Chernihiv and Kharkiv, while undermining Russia’s ability to continue the war by attacking Russian supply lines, ammunition depots and centers of command, he added.

Bodnar said Russia had lost 45,000 men so far in the war, a claim Moscow has not confirmed.

He stressed that the current situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is critical, and said that Russian forces have stored military equipment and ammunition at the facility.

Russian troops must withdraw unconditionally from the plant as soon as possible and then the plant must be demilitarized, he said.

*Written by Ahmet Gencturk

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