Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to end the war in Ukraine "as soon as possible."
Erdogan based his statement on talks he had last week with Putin at a summit in Uzbekistan. The Russian president began the unprovoked attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24.
"I got together with President Putin, and we had very extensive discussions with him," Erdogan told PBS News Hour. "And he is actually showing me that he's willing to end this as soon as possible.
"That was my impression, because the way things are going right now are quite problematic."
Putin, however, vowed Friday to press his attack on Ukraine despite Ukraine's latest counteroffensive and warned that Moscow could ramp up its strikes on the country's vital infrastructure if Ukrainian forces target facilities in Russia.
Erdogan, in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, said that all he wants in Ukraine is "to end this battle with peace."
However, Erdogan said Russia must return all territories it has invaded and occupied.
"When we talk about reciprocal agreement, this is what we mean," he told PBS’ Judy Woodruff. "If a peace is going to be established in Ukraine, of course, the returning of the land that was invaded will become really important. This is what is expected. This is what is wanted. Mr. Putin has taken certain steps. We have taken certain steps.
"The lands which were invaded will be returned to Ukraine."
Erdogan said "the lands" returned should include Crimea.
"Since 2014, we have been talking to my dear friend Putin about this, and this is what we have requested from him," Erdogan said. "We asked him to return Crimea to its rightful owners. These are our descendants at the same time, the people who are living there. If you were to take this step forward, if you could leave us, you would also be relieving the Crimean Tatars and Ukraine as well. That's what we have always been saying.
"But since then, unfortunately, no step has been taken forward."
Erdogan, who said Russia's invasion "cannot be justified," was asked if he thought Putin would admit it had been a mistake to invade Ukraine.
"No leader in the aftermath would say that it was a mistake. Nobody will say, 'Yes, I made a mistake," Erdogan said. "The same thing can be applied to Ukraine as well. Mr. [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, do you think when he was moving forward, does he feel he made a mistake? The leaders, when they take a path, they will find it very difficult to go back? It's very difficult for the leaders to go back."
Erdogan side-stepped questions about whether Putin should be held responsible for war crimes by saying the United Nations needs to investigate and release findings.
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