Moscow expects Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to formally offer to mediate talks with Ukraine during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan. A Kremlin aide said this on Wednesday.

“Turkey is offering mediation,” Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow. If any talks are held, it will probably be in one of their territories, Istanbul or Ankara.’

The Russian adviser also said, “Erdogan will probably make a formal proposal during a meeting with Putin in the Kazakh capital, Astana.”

Ankara, which has remained neutral since the start of the war, has good relations with both Black Sea countries. But the country refrained from Moscow’s initiative to impose a Western blockade.

Earlier, Turkey twice played the role of mediator in the talks between Moscow and Kiev.

But after announcing the annexation of four regions of Ukraine to Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he would not negotiate with the Russian president.

Asked about Zelensky’s position, Ushakov said, “I want to tell him, never say no.”

(October 13/FA)