Turkey is ready to do its part to calm tensions in Ukraine, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a phone call.
Elevating the issue to a more complex level and military confrontation will not benefit any party, Erdoğan also said.
Erdoğan emphasized that he always attaches great importance to the close dialogue he established with Putin on regional issues, that they have seen the positive results of this and that he is determined to maintain this understanding.
Stating that Turkey does not recognize the steps that are against Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and that this is a principled attitude, Erdoğan noted that it is important to reach a conclusion on the basis of the Minsk Agreements.
Pointing out that the problem will become more complex and especially a military conflict will not benefit anyone, Erdoğan said that with this understanding, they attach importance to the continuation of diplomatic contacts and talks, and that Turkey is ready to do its part to reduce tensions and maintain peace, as it was before.
Expressing his call for this issue to be settled through dialogue, Erdoğan pointed out that it is beneficial to highlight diplomacy and that they maintain a constructive attitude within NATO as well.
President Erdoğan reiterated that he expects Russian President Putin to visit Turkey as soon as possible for the High-Level Cooperation Council Meeting, as agreed during his visit to Sochi in September last year.
The call comes after Erdoğan said on the same day that Turkey could not abandon its ties with Russia or Ukraine, and he criticized Western diplomatic efforts with Moscow as having achieved little.
Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Africa, Erdoğan repeated his offer to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and said NATO member Turkey, which has good ties with both, would take steps that do not harm its bilateral ties.
"It is not possible for us to abandon either (country)," he said. "Our aim is that we take such a step that, God willing, we sort this out without abandoning either one."
He called on Ukraine and Russia to resume negotiations, and said NATO needed to "determine its stance" after the summit on Wednesday.
Russia's recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine this week has prompted swift backlash and sanctions from Western powers.
The Turkish leader, who has friendly ties to both Moscow and Kyiv, said Russia's recognition of Ukraine's breakaway regions was "unacceptable" and urged compliance with international law, in comments published Tuesday.
Erdoğan has positioned Turkey as a neutral mediator for a peaceful resolution to the crisis, offering to host the two countries' leaders or technical level talks in Istanbul or in Ankara.
While cooperating with Russia in energy and trade, Turkey has also sold sophisticated drones to Ukraine and inked a deal to co-produce more, angering Moscow.
Complicating diplomacy, Turkey opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya even as it forges cooperation on the ground there. It also opposes Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and its recognition of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions in Georgia as independent.