Turkey tells Russia of urgent need for Ukraine ceasefire

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R, back), Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (L, back), Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R, front) and Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar attend a news conference following the talks in Sochi, Russia September 17, 2018. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS

ANKARA, March 1 (Reuters) - Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday told his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu about the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine for humanitarian reasons, Turkey's Defence Ministry said.

NATO ally Turkey borders Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. On Monday, Turkey said it had asked all countries not to cross its straits into the Black Sea under a 1936 pact, limiting passage of some Russian warships.

In a phone call, Akar told Shoigu that Turkey would continue efforts for regional peace and shipments of humanitarian aid, the ministry said on Twitter.

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Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay

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