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Ukraine calls on Turkey to close its airspace and Black Sea access to Russian vessels

Ukraine has made an official request to Turkey to close its airspace and Black Sea access to Russian Navy vessels as Moscow launched its military attack on the Eastern European country on 24 February.

Turkey called Moscow's military assault on Kyiv “unacceptable”, but has so far fallen short of meeting Ukraine's demand to close Russian access to the Black Sea.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with Turkish foreign ministry officials on 24 February, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar said, “We are calling for the closure of the airspace and the Dardanelles and Bosphorus Straits for Russian ships. We conveyed our relevant request to the Turkish side. We want sanctions to be imposed on the Russian side. We demand the seizure of the shares of the Russian business world here.”

The ambassador said his country expected solidarity from NATO member Turkey and that it should not remain impartial after Russia launched an offensive.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, following a security summit held under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the same day, saying, “We find the military operation launched by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation against Ukraine unacceptable and reject it. This attack, beyond destroying the Minsk agreements, is a grave violation of international law and poses a serious threat to the security of our region and the world. Turkey, which believes that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries should be respected, is against changing the borders by means of arms. We call on the Russian Federation to stop this unfair and unlawful act as soon as possible. Our support for the political unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine will continue.”

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