The Ukrainian side is ready for negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with CNN.
“I am ready to negotiate with him. I have been ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we will not be able to end this war. I think that we should use any format, any chance, to be able to negotiate, an opportunity to talk to Putin. But if these attempts fail, it will mean that this is the third world war,” Zelensky said.
At the same time, he stressed that Ukraine under no circumstances can give up its territorial integrity.
“No compromises related to our territorial integrity and our sovereignty, and the Ukrainian people spoke about this, they did not meet Russian soldiers with a bouquet of flowers, they met them bravely, they met them with weapons in their hands,” Zelensky said.
“If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started. I’d like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people. If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately because people are dying on a daily basis. But if you are not ready to preserve the lives of our people, if you just want to see us straddle two worlds, if you want to see us in this dubious position where we don’t understand whether you can accept us or not — you cannot place us in this situation, you cannot force us to be in this limbo,” the head of state said.
“I requested them personally to say directly that we are going to accept you into NATO in a year or two or five, just say it directly and clearly, or just say no. And the response was very clear, you’re not going to be a NATO member, but publicly, the doors will remain open,” he said.