President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Russia aims to reach an immediate ceasefire in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on March 4.
"On the way to Moscow, our main aim is immediate ceasefire within the framework of the Idlib agreement we signed with the Russian Federation,” Kalın told reporters in Ankara.
"We have broad relations and we're hopeful as we go to (Russia)," Kalın said.
Erdoğan is set to visit Russia on March 5 for a one-day trip amid tensions between Ankara and Moscow over escalating clashes with Syrian government forces in Idlib.
The Turkish president previously said that he hopes to achieve a ceasefire in Idlib in his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Erdoğan hopes for Idlib ceasefire in talks with Putin on March 5
Under the Sochi agreement struck with Russia in 2018, Turkey established 12 observation posts in Idlib.
Despite being on opposite sides of the Syrian war, Turkey and Russia have worked closely, especially on Idlib but the escalating violence has strained relations.
Ankara rejects accusations of using migrants to 'blackmail' EU
Kalın also touched upon the recent migration crisis that erupted after Turkey announced last week that Ankara would cease controlling its land and sea borders with Europe and open the passage for migrants wishing to cross.
Kalın rejected accusations by the European Union that Ankara was "blackmailing" the bloc.
"We have never seen refugees as a means of political blackmail," Kalın said.
"Our objective by opening the doors was not to create an artificial crisis, to place political pressure or to serve our interests," Kalın said, urging Brussels to fulfill the promises it had made to Ankara under the 2016 EU-Turkey agreement to prevent the flow of migrants.
He also said that Charles Michel, president of the European Council, did not make a concrete offer on March 4 in a meeting to deal with migrants trying to enter Greece and Bulgaria.
"As of today there is no concrete proposition that was laid out on the table, but we hope they somehow formulate this plan soon and get it to us so we can quickly realize it in the event we reach agreement," he said.