President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a phone conversation with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The President of Turkey congratulated Volodymyr Zelenskyy and all Ukrainians on the 29th anniversary of independence and commended the intensification of bilateral contacts, which is taking place despite the epidemic situation. He also congratulated the President of Ukraine on the establishment of a full and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas.
"I am grateful that you mentioned it. In fact, today is the 27th day of the ceasefire regime. During this time we have not had any combat losses, no military has been wounded due to hostilities," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President of Ukraine also thanked his Turkish counterpart for the continued support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The resumption of flights between the two countries and the creation of opportunities for tourist travel were positively noted.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated the President of the Republic of Turkey on the opening of natural gas deposits on the Turkish coast of the Black Sea, the development of which will help improve the energy security of Turkey and the region.
The heads of state discussed the situation with the spread of coronavirus and agreed to continue coordinating efforts to combat the pandemic and its consequences.
The parties stressed that coronavirus should not affect the development of bilateral relations.
The interlocutors discussed the implementation of preliminary agreements on the implementation of joint infrastructure projects, including the construction of roads in Ukraine, as well as housing for 500 families of internally displaced persons from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
The President of Ukraine thanked Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for defending the rights and interests of Crimean Tatars, as well as for facilitating the release of Ukrainian citizens, including Crimean Tatars, illegally detained in the Russian Federation and the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the need to continue working towards the release of people detained by Russia.
"We have a new list, which includes more than 20 Crimean Tatars illegally detained by Russia. Among them is Ruslan Suleymanov, father of a three-year-old boy who died in Crimea," the Ukrainian President said.
The importance of holding a regular meeting of the Ukrainian-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was noted. Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed the need to improve the conditions of access of some groups of Ukrainian goods to the Turkish market. In this regard, he called on the President of Turkey to exclude Ukraine from the list of countries to which additional customs duties apply and to adhere to the parity conditions of bilateral trade.
"In April-June this year alone, additional customs rates were applied to more than 1,400 items. This has a negative impact on the export of our metallurgy, light and confectionery industries," the President of Ukraine said.
In response, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would immediately commission the relevant agencies of the Republic of Turkey to work on this issue.
The heads of state also discussed topical issues of developing practical cooperation in the field of security and defense, which is an important component of the Ukrainian-Turkish strategic partnership and has significant potential.
"I hope that our governments will be able to conclude a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the defense sphere by the end of this year. Turkey's participation in the Joint Effort 2020 command and staff exercises in Ukraine scheduled for the last decade of September is important," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President of the Republic of Turkey invited the President of Ukraine to visit Turkey. The parties also discussed preparations for the next meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council.