Turkish, Ukrainian leaders meet in push to boost trade

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is holding talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in Kyiv to stimulate commerce between their countries.

Erdogan and Zelenskiy will discuss how to “enhance strategic partnership and cooperation in all areas of interaction,” and attend a Ukraine-Turkey business forum, Zelenskiy’s office said.

Zelenskiy, a former comedian, was swept to a landslide victory in an April presidential election on promises to root out entrenched corruption and improve Ukraine’s struggling economy.

He has also set out to end a years-long conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 13,000 lives since April 2014.

Erdogan, who has been strengthening ties with Russia in recent years, has adamantly opposed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, particularly speaking up for the rights of the Crimean Tatars, an ethnic Turkic minority.

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Ukraine’s Orthodox Church split from Russia last year, with Istanbul-based Patriarch Bartholomew I signing the decree.

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