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Turkey, US in rare position of unity over Ukraine

Russia’s Turkey policy to "drive a wedge between Turkey and its NATO allies" will not likely bear fruit when it comes to Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony prior to their talks in Kyiv on Feb. 3, 2020.
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KYIV — Turkey’s relationship with the United States is on the rocks, and the most immediate cause is Ankara’s refusal to get rid of its newly acquired, Russian-manufactured S-400 missiles that Washington says threaten NATO’s security. Yet when it comes to Ukraine, Ankara and Washington are in perfect lockstep vis-a-vis Moscow as witnessed by the outcome of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s April 10 meeting in Istanbul with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A 20-point declaration signed by the two presidents left no doubt as to Turkey’s position. Notably, it called for an end to the “illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, a former Ottoman dominion that is home to the Muslim Tatars, by the Russian Federation” and the “de-occupation” of the Donbas in Ukraine’s east, where Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists prevail. Turkey also reaffirmed its support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO and “its intention to obtain a Membership Action Plan in the near future.”

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