Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that the West could have prevented Russian aggression, but humoured Putin for a long time.
“Could the West have prevented this? I believe that there is a high percentage that they could have done this. I believe that Putin may not hear me. But he could not hear the United States, Great Britain or the Western world. The West was not united. They [in the West] are people of principle, they defend common values, but, first of all, they think about the political situation inside the state, and only then what is happening outside,” Zelensky said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the American CBS television channel, published on Monday by the President’s Office of Ukraine.
According to Zelensky, “they could put powerful pressure on Putin, and he would be forced to hear them.”
At the same time, Zelensky said that he has no legal claims against the leaders of NATO countries, however, in general, in his opinion, they are responsible.
“When you can close the sky… Yes, it is scary that the Third World War will start. It is scary, I understand it. I cannot put pressure on them every day, because everyone is afraid of war. But the world is responsible,” the president said.
“I saw the leaders of small countries with big hearts. Not everyone played down to Putin. But the one who has something to lose always flirts. Small Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia are countries with big hearts. Countries where major business is Germany always have a choice and difficulties, France, Italy, Portugal, where there are great interests, great trade, long historical relations, cultural ties, many people who emigrated with the capital of the Russian Empire went to Europe with their families. And therefore the influence there is great,” he said, noting that all of these countries tried not to spoil relations with Russia.
“No one wants to leave the comfort zone. And fighting Putin, supporting Ukraine, is leaving the comfort zone. Political, financial, and even risking a career, because a war may start. A financial crisis, people may not forgive,” Zelensky said.
At the same time, according to him, “there are less and less of these people every day.”
“The war in Ukraine, which separated our families, at the same time united us as a nation and united the West,” the head of state said.