Finland regions

Finland’s Erdoğan and Niinisto discuss barriers to defense export

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a phone call with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, said on Monday that Turkey expects obstacles preventing the export of military equipment to be lifted “at a time when the importance of cooperation in the field of defense industry has increased”.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues, including the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. Erdoğan said Turkey continues to press for humanitarian corridors to be opened and a ceasefire to be declared.

Turkey has been one of the countries leading efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has affected millions of civilians. Turkey says it can facilitate peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, but says a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors are needed first.

Ankara also hosted the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Antalya earlier this month. Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine met in the Turkish resort town of Antalya for talks, which Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also attended. The talks were largely inconclusive, but Ankara considers the fact that they took place a success.

Maintaining its neutral and balanced position, Turkey continues its diplomatic efforts to defuse the Ukrainian conflict, urging all parties to exercise restraint. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions aimed at isolating Moscow, it has also closed its straits to prevent some Russian ships from crossing them.

Erdoğan also welcomed the Turkey-Finland Joint Economic and Trade Commission to be held in June in Ankara.

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