Turkish Vessels Using Ukrainian Ports. Moscow’s Objection.

Ships of the Turkish Navy visited the Ukrainian port of Odessa. Russian opinion-makers criticized the aforementioned steps, taken by Ankara.

According to the announcement published by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, two Turkish vessels visited the port of Odessa. The two ships are the MEKO 200 class TCG “Salihreis” frigate (F-246), accompanied by the Aviso class TCG “Bartin” corvette. The whole initiative constitutes a part of the recently adopted 2016 international cooperation plan, created by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Turkish vessels mentioned above were welcomed by a delegation of the Ukrainian Navy, led by the Commander of the Western Naval Base, Commander Oleg Doskato, accompanied by the commander of the “Hetman Sahaydachniy” frigate, Commander Lieutenant Denis Ivanin, and by the Turkish General Consul in Odessa. The Turkish Naval Group in question is being commanded by Rear Admiral Iskader Yldyrym.

Russian opinion-makers claim that the visit constitutes yet another proof of Ukrainian and Turkish forces getting involved in a tight collaboration. This is to be evidenced by the fact that President Poroshenko visited Turkey last month, meeting his counterpart, Erdogan.

During the visit, it was said that “direct references to Russia” have been made. Both in case of Ukraine, as well as in case of Turkey, the relationship with Moscow is very tense. Kiev’s stance towards Russia stiffened after the Donbas conflict (no references are made by the Russians to annexation of Crimea), while in case of Ankara, the reports mentions the event of “downing the Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria”.

Both countries, as the Russians suggest, were to reach an agreement, the purpose of which would be to coordinate joint efforts that are to lead to a situation in which Ukraine regains control over the Crimean Peninsula. Moreover, joint training events in the Black Sea region, increasing the level of security within its basin, were also to be discussed by the officials.