NewsZelenskyy's clear stand on a handshake with Putin

Zelenskyy's clear stand on a handshake with Putin

President Volodymyr Zelensky
President Volodymyr Zelensky
Images source: © GETTY | The Washington Post
ed. MCZ

4:17 PM EST, December 11, 2023

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, asserted that he is not willing to compromise with the "Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who is also a war criminal". He shared these views in an interview with a Latin American media outlet, emphasizing that the Kremlin and Putin "are not interested in peace".

Zelenskyy affirmed that Putin has not let go of his main objective, to usurp Ukraine and make it subservient to the Russian Federation. He further stated that he is not authorized to negotiate with Putin or his representatives regarding the population residing in Ukraine's occupied territories.

"Let's put aside the fact that he's a murderer for a moment"

- "How can I negotiate with a murderer like Putin? Setting aside that for a moment, how can I negotiate with the Russians? How can I debate about the people who reside in cities and villages that are occupied? We can't dictate where a person should live, what language they should speak, or which flag they should respect. Who are we to decide these things?" - Zelenskyy pointedly questioned.

The President further stated that if Putin had the intention of ending the war, he had an easy solution - order his forces to withdraw from Ukraine. Once that happens, diplomatic discussions can begin. But Zelenskyy suspects that Putin is not in favor of this path.

Zelenskyy reminded viewers that Putin publically stated in 2014 that he "did not plan to wage a full-scale war with Ukraine", even though he had already seized Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Lugansk. Later, Putin justified his actions by claiming he was "protecting the Russian-speaking population".

Are behind-the-scenes discussions already underway?

- "If that's the case, why did he engage in full-scale war? Everything he utters is a lie. He has no interest in an independent Ukraine. He wants Ukraine to be a part of the Russian enclave, similar to what he did with Belarus, Moldova, and Georgia. Like with us, they partly occupied the land, destabilized it, and will eventually completely take us over. Ukraine being a large country is where he faltered. But what should he give up? Who is he? I can't bargain with human lives, especially with a person whose word means nothing. It's not a guaranteed deal" - explained Zelenskyy.

On November 4, NBC reported that officials from the US and Europe had begun private discussions with the Ukrainian government about potential peace talks with Russia. NBC stated that one such conversation occurred last month during a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine's Defense in the Ramstein format, which saw representatives from over 50 countries participate.

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