In a televised interview on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said that Ukraine was not going to insist on joining NATO, which was one of the issues that officially prompted the Russian invasion.
In an interview with the American television channel ABC, Zhelensky said in an interview with the ABC that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was ready to “compromise” on the status of separatist territories in eastern Ukraine. Unilaterally, shortly before the start of the military offensive.
“As for NATO, when I realized that NATO was not ready to accept Ukraine, I relaxed my position on this issue some time ago,” the Ukrainian leader said in an interview aired Monday night.
“The coalition is afraid of anything confrontational and controversial with Russia,” Zhelensky explained, adding that he did not want to be president of a “kneeling country” for a NATO member.
Putin has repeatedly said that Ukraine’s involvement in NATO is a threat to Moscow’s interests, and that the West should not expand its military sphere of influence along its borders.
The Russian president has recognized two pro-Russian separatist republics in eastern Ukraine, and is now demanding that Kiev recognize them as well.
When asked about this Russian request during the same TV interview, Zelensky said he was ready for the conversation.
“I am talking about security guarantees. When it comes to these temporary occupied territories (…) recognized only by Russia, I think (…) the future of these can be discussed and compromised. Territories,” the Ukrainian leader explained.
“The important thing for me is how people in these regions and the people who want to be a part of Ukraine are going to live,” Zhelensky added, calling the problem “complex.”
He concluded: “This is another final warning and we reject the final warning. Instead of living in a bubble, President Putin should start talking and start a conversation.”
In the early hours of February 24, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine, killing at least 406 civilians and wounding more than 800, and more than two million fleeing to neighboring countries, according to the latest UN data. Countries.
The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in retaliation for sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.
Vladimir Putin justified “special military action” in Ukraine, with the need to militarize the neighboring country, assuring Russia that it was the only way to defend itself and that the attack would last as long as necessary.
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