Turkey's foreign minister said that the country does not recognise the "unlawful annexation of Crimea."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar met with Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal in Kiev on December 18, 2020.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar met with Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal in Kiev on December 18, 2020. (AA)

Turkey's foreign minister has said the dispute in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine should be solved within "territorial integrity."

"The problem at the Donbass region should be solved within the territorial integrity and we are happy that the ceasefire continues, despite some small breaches," Mevlut Cavusoglu said on an official visit to Ukraine.

The situation of Crimean Tatar Turks was also discussed at the meeting with Ukrainian officials, Cavusoglu said.

Touching upon Turkey's position on Crimea, he said Ankara does not recognise the "unlawful annexation of Crimea."

"We openly express this at the UN and other international platforms," he said.

He added that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) special observation mission working under Turkish Ambassador Halit Cevik will continue receiving support from Ankara.

Noting that Turkey-Ukraine relations are "developing rapidly in all areas", he said: "In today's talks we had a chance to discuss some bilateral issues as well as some regional issues. From economy and education to tourism and health, we have an ongoing cooperation."

He added that Turkey, despite the pandemic, hosted 1 million Ukrainian tourists mostly in his hometown of Antalya.

READ MORE: Erdogan denounces Russia's annexation of Crimea

Ukraine-Russia tensions

In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, a move widely viewed as illegal by the international community, including Turkey and the UN.

Kiev also blames Moscow for separatist violence in its eastern Donbass region, which borders Russia.

The Turkish foreign and defence ministers held meetings with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Friday.

They also met Ahiska and Gagauz Turks living in Ukraine. 

READ MORE: Turkey decries conviction of Crimean Tatars by Russian court

Source: AA