Erdogan says Turkey ready in principle to act as Ukraine's guarantor -media

Ukraine-Russia talks in Istanbul
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets Russian and Ukrainian negotiators before addressing them, ahead of their face-to-face talks in Istanbul, Turkey March 29, 2022. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

ANKARA, March 31 (Reuters) - Turkey is ready, in principle, to act as a guarantor country for Ukraine, but the details of such a format need to be worked out, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying on Thursday, adding Moscow's decision to scale back some of its operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv was "truly important".

NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good ties with both and has offered to mediate the conflict. It has supported Ukraine while opposing sanctions on Moscow, and this week hosted negotiators from both sides for the first face-to-face peace talks in weeks.

Speaking on a flight from Uzbekistan, Erdogan said the talks in Istanbul, where Ukraine gave Russia a written proposal to end the war, had provided "significant momentum" to the process. He added he would again convey an offer to host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Russia's Vladimir Putin for talks.

"On the guarantorship matter, we can be one of the guarantor countries ensuring Ukraine's security, we are ready for this in principle, but of course the details of this need to be worked out," broadcaster NTV cited him as saying, referring to an offer from Ukraine for several countries, including Turkey, to act as security guarantors.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay Editing by Daren Butler

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