Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently held phone conversations with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts over the recent tension between the countries in the Black Sea.

                       Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently held phone conversations with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts over the recent tension between the countries in the Black Sea.

In phone calls with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko, Erdoğan expressed his concerns over the tension in Sea of Azov.

 Turkish president also underlined the importance of resolving the problems via diplomacy.

 Kremlin also announced the phone call between Erdoğan and Putin in an online statement. The two presidents discussed the situation over the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation in a strait near Crimea, according to a statement published on the Kremlin website.

 They also discussed the implementation of the memorandum on Idlib, signed in September, and some aspects of the bilateral relations, it said.

 On Nov. 25, Russia seized two Ukrainian navy ships and a navy tugboat along with 23 crew members off Crimea, accusing Kiev of entering its waters and provoking a conflict.

 It said the vessels had ignored calls to stop, sparking military action. Russia intervened as the Ukrainian ships were relocating from the Black Sea port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.

 Videos appeared online showing a Russian coast guard vessel ramming the Ukrainian navy tugboat in the Kerch Strait.

 Ukraine also accused Russian warships of opening fire on the ships, asserting that crew members were wounded and the vessels were seized by Russia. 

Russia and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea after a controversial referendum.

 Turkey, as well as the UN General Assembly, viewed the annexation as illegal.

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