Russian and Ukrainian delegates scuffle at Ankara meeting

This screenshot made from a news video footage shows members of Russian and Ukrainian delegations locked in scuffle at the Turkish parliament building on May 5, 2023.

ANKARA – Russian and Ukrainian delegates had scuffles during a meeting of Black Sea countries in Ankara, the Turkish parliament speaker confirmed on Friday.

The brawl broke out late Thursday at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in the Turkish parliament building.

When the head of the Russian delegation began to deliver a speech, people from the Ukrainian delegation started to raise banners and flags, and speak loudly, Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop told reporters on Friday.

This platform is not a platform for these things to happen.

Mustafa Sentop, Speaker, Turkish Parliament

Then a moment of brawl erupted between the delegations of the two countries.

Sentop said he came up to intervene, "but later on, I heard that such actions and provocations continued even after I left".

Local media reported that later on, a Ukrainian delegate unfurled the Ukrainian flag behind the Russian delegation’s deputy head Olga Timofeeva while she was being interviewed outside the conference room.

News footage showed that a Russian delegate came up and snatched the flag before a clash broke out between him and the Ukrainian delegate.

"This platform is not a platform for these things to happen," Sentop said.