President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey spoke to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Thursday and called for a cease-fire in Ukraine, a statement from the Turkish leader’s office said.
Mr. Erdogan’s office said that the two leaders spoke by phone, discussing energy relations as well as the war in Ukraine.
“Peace and negotiation calls should be supported with a unilateral cease-fire declaration and a fair vision of solution,” Mr. Erdogan told his counterpart, according to a readout of the call released by his office.
The Turkish leader also spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Thursday, reiterating his country’s readiness to serve as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia, according to a separate statement from Mr. Erdogan’s office.
Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Turkey has positioned itself as mediator between them. Preliminary peace talks between Russia and Ukraine were held in Turkey in the early days of the war yet failed to produce any concrete results, and the two countries are no closer to holding further discussions.
Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly offered to host a meeting between Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Putin, but neither side has taken him up on the offer. Still, Turkey helped negotiate a deal this summer involving Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations to allow for the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.The grain agreement was among the topics of discussion on Thursday’s call with Mr. Erdogan, according to Mr. Zelensky. He wrote on Twitter that the two also discussed security cooperation and exchanges of prisoners of war.
In the phone call with Mr. Putin on Thursday, Mr. Erdogan reminded the Russian leader that some past negotiations had yielded positive results, like with the grain deal and exchanges of prisoners of war, according to the Turkish presidency’s statement.
According to the Kremlin, Mr. Putin told Mr. Erdogan that he is open to negotiations “based on new territorial realities,” a thinly veiled reference to Russia’s occupied Ukrainian lands. Ukraine has vowed to keep fighting until it recovers all lost territory.
Turkey, a NATO member, has publicly opposed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has provided drones to the government in Kyiv. However, Turkey declined to join in on Western economic sanctions against Russia. Instead, Mr. Erdogan’s government has increased its foreign trade with Russia since the beginning of the war, according to official government figures.
The Kremlin readout of the conversation said Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan spoke about the strategic importance of new joint economic projects, including a plan to turn Turkey into a trading hub for Russian gas.
Anatoly Kurmanaev contributed reporting.