Russia warns Turkey against joining ‘anti-Crimea coalition’ with Ukraine
Turkey will make a mistake if it joins the “Crimean Platform” at the suggestion of Ukraine, the head of the Crimean Parliament’s Committee on People’s Diplomacy and International Relations Yuri Gempel told RIA Novosti.
“If Turkey actually joins the so-called Kyiv project “Crimean Platform”, which is essentially an anti-Kremlin alliance hostile to the Crimeans, it will make a serious strategic mistake,” Gempel said.
According to Gempel, Turkey could lose a reliable ally in the face of Russia, as well as Russian tourists.
Earlier, during a visit to Turkey, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take part in the project “Crimean Platform” which aims to return the peninsula to Ukraine.
During the meeting, Erdogan said that Turkey “does not recognize and will never recognize Crimea as Russian.” “We have always supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea,” Erdogan said.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.