Erdoğan slams Russia's recognition of Ukraine breakaway regions as 'unacceptable'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Russia's decision to recognize Ukraine's breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk was "unacceptable" and called on all parties to abide by international law and common sense.

Duvar English 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 11 said Russia's recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine was "unacceptable" and he called on all parties to respect international laws.

"We see this decision by Russia as unacceptable. We repeat our call for common sense and respect for international law by all sides," Erdoğan told reporters on a flight in Africa, adding Ankara had prepared "precaution packages" as a regional country.

NATO member Turkey is a maritime neighbor with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. Erdoğan has offered to mediate in the conflict, warned Russia against invading Ukraine, and criticized the West's handling of the crisis.

Earlier on Feb. 22, the Turkish Foreign Ministry assailed Russia's move, calling it a violation of international agreements and Ukraine's territorial integrity.

"The decision of Russia to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics amounts to a clear violation of not only the Minsk agreements, but also Ukraine's political unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We find Russia's so-called decision to be unacceptable and reject it," the ministry said, calling on all sides to respect international law.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops to Ukraine's breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, accelerating a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war.

Putin's announcement drew international condemnation and immediate U.S. sanctions to halt U.S. business activity in the breakaway regions and ban import of all goods from those areas.