President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone call with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdogan congratulated Zelensky and all Ukrainians on the 29th anniversary of independence and commended the intensification of bilateral contacts. He also congratulated Zelensky on the establishment of a full and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas, the press service of Ukrainian president reported on August 22.

“I am grateful that you mentioned it. In fact, today is the 27th day of the ceasefire regime. During this time we have not had any combat losses, no military has been wounded due to hostilities,” Volodymyr Zelensky said.

The president of Ukraine also thanked his Turkish counterpart for the continued support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Two presodents also discussed the resumption of flights between countries and the creation of opportunities for tourist travel.

It is also reported that Zelensky congratulated Erdogan on the opening of natural gas deposits on the Turkish coast of the Black Sea, while noting that it will help improve the energy security of Turkey and the region.

The heads of state discussed the situation with the spread of coronavirus and agreed to continue coordinating efforts to combat the pandemic and its consequences.

They stressed that coronavirus should not affect the development of bilateral relations.

Besides this, Zelensky and Erdogan discussed the implementation of preliminary agreements on the implementation of joint infrastructure projects, including the construction of roads in Ukraine, as well as housing for 500 families of internally displaced persons from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Ukrainian president thanked Erdogan for defending the rights and interests of Crimean Tatars, as well as for facilitating the release of Ukrainian citizens, including Crimean Tatars, illegally detained in the Russian Federation and the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Zelensky emphasized the need to continue working towards the release of people detained by Russia.

“We have a new list, which includes more than 20 Crimean Tatars illegally detained by Russia. Among them is Ruslan Suleymanov, father of a three-year-old boy who died in Crimea,” Zelensky said.

The importance of holding a regular meeting of the Ukrainian-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was noted. Zelensky stressed the need to improve the conditions of access of some groups of Ukrainian goods to the Turkish market. In this regard, he called on the president of Turkey to exclude Ukraine from the list of countries to which additional customs duties apply and to adhere to the parity conditions of bilateral trade.

“In April-June this year alone, additional customs rates were applied to more than 1,400 items. This has a negative impact on the export of our metallurgy, light and confectionery industries,” the Zelensky said.

In response, Erdogan said he would immediately commission the relevant Turkish agencies to work on this issue.

Presidents also discussed cooperation in the field of security and defense, noting it as an important component of the Ukrainian-Turkish strategic partnership.

“I hope that our governments will be able to conclude a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the defense sphere by the end of this year. Turkey’s participation in the Joint Effort 2020 command and staff exercises in Ukraine scheduled for the last decade of September is important,” Volodymyr Zelensky said.

The President of the Republic of Turkey invited the President of Ukraine to visit Turkey. The parties also discussed preparations for the next meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council.

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