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EU to hold summit in İstanbul on anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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The European Union is planning to hold a summit in İstanbul on Feb. 22 on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday, citing Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, the head of the EU delegation to Turkey.

Anadolu quoted Meyer-Landrut as saying that a Ukrainian government official would be invited, while a Turkish representative, whose identity has not yet been announced, would also be present at the summit.

He added that the summit would deal with the geopolitical and economic consequences of the war.

“This is also a way of expressing our support for Ukraine. The start of the Russian aggression on Feb. 24 of last year was a defining moment in European history. … We have a war on our continent, a great brutal war, a war with consequences far beyond the European continent,” Meyer-Landrut said.

NATO member Turkey, which has managed a diplomatic balancing act throughout the conflict in Ukraine, has good relations with its two Black Sea neighbors — Russia and Ukraine.

Russian and Ukrainian delegations met for peace talks in İstanbul on March 29, 2022. Turkey also hosted the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Antalya earlier in March.

Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest grain producers and exporters. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports following its invasion threatened to cause a global food crisis earlier this year, which was mitigated by the Turkish-brokered deal that unblocked Ukrainian shipments at the end of July.

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