Turkiye can provide ship support for the evacuation of civilians and those wounded in Mariupol, the country’s defense minister said on Saturday.
“Coordination with Russian and Ukrainian officials in this regard is continuing,” Hulusi Akar told journalists.
Akar said that Turkiye continues its diplomatic efforts to end the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Noting that he talked with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on the phone many times and that he also met with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in Istanbul, Akar underlined the importance of reaching a cease-fire as soon as possible to prevent further loss of life and ensure peace and stability.
“As Turkiye, we continue to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. Turkiye also gives its support regarding the evacuations. We will continue to support the Ukrainian people,” the minister said.
The Russian war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the EU, US, and Britain, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 1,276 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,981 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.
More than 4 million Ukrainians have also fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.