Crimea, trade, and drones: what Erdogan and Zelenskyi talked about in Istanbul
The presidents of Ukraine and Turkey agreed on defense, investment, and pressure on Russia
They have an army of 355,000, a robust economy, NATO membership, and influence in the Muslim world. That's probably why Volodymyr Zelenskyi went to Turkey to gain support at all levels.
Ukrainians brought a total package of proposals to Istanbul: from participation in the return of Crimea to road construction. However, our neighbors also have a list of expectations, and a free trade zone is key. We explain what they agreed on and what they agreed to negotiate about.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi paid a visit to Turkey on October 16, and the day proved to be quite productive for its participants. Besides his talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he had several "sectoral" meetings for other delegation members, such as the military industry or economy.
The presidents also played a joke on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when Erdoğan called him from Istanbul and then handed the phone to Zelenskyi.
Petro Poroshenko regularly visited and communicated with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In Volodymyr Zelenskyi's case, Erdoğan became his leading friend. It is our president's second visit to Istanbul, and his Turkish counterpart came to Kyiv last February. Zelenskyi even presented Erdoğan with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of the highest degree.