Zelensky: "Erdogan is a real friend of Ukraine"

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Volodymyr Zelensky

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that the Russian-Ukrainian peace talks held in Istanbul earlier this week had given a "substantial impetus."

In a telephone conversation between the two leaders yesterday, Erdoğan reiterated his proposal for a meeting between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Turkey, according to a statement from the Turkish presidency.

Zelensky, for his part, thanked Erdoğan for his willingness to provide security guarantees to Ukraine. As the Ukrainian president wrote on Twitter, "they agreed on further steps for peace."

"Had another conversation with a real friend of Ukraine, President of Turkey Erdoğan. Noted the high level of organisation of negotiations of delegations in Istanbul. Agreed on further steps towards peace. Thanked for the readiness of Turkey to become the guarantor of security of our state!"

https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa/status/1509590625162833928

Russia and Ukraine concluded a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, creating a possibility of formulating a security treaty.

Following the meeting, Ukrainian negotiators named several countries which could act as guarantors, protecting Ukraine on the international arena.

Turkey has been increased its diplomatic efforts for lasting peace in the region, and the Turkish President has been pushing for a summit between his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts while conducting "phone traffic" between the two leaders.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin rejected US claims that Putin is being misled by his advisers about Russia's failures on the battlefield.

In a daily news briefing on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "neither the State Department nor the Pentagon have real information about what is happening in the Kremlin."

"They just don’t understand what’s going on in the Kremlin," he said, warning that "such a complete misunderstanding leads to erroneous and rash decisions that cause very bad consequences."

It comes after declassified U.S. intelligence claimed that Putin's senior advisers have been "too afraid to tell him the truth" about the situation on the ground.

The Biden administration announced a plan to release around 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for as long as six months.

In Ukraine, an evacuation convoy of 17 buses was able to leave the besieged port city of Mariupol Thursday morning, according to its city council, with further evacuations anticipated for Friday.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it had seen Russian forces near Kyiv move north or into Belarus, with both the US and UK saying it appeared troops were looking to resupply and reorganise.

READ MORE: Dendias: The worst thing Greece could have done was differentiate itself from the EU over Ukraine.