Zelenskyy says he is ready to talk to Putin but not to give up his country’s independence

“If there’s even a 1 percent chance for us to stop this war,” he added, “then I think we have to take that chance, we have to do this.”

The Ukrainian president also warned that talks are the best hope of averting a third world war.

Zelenskyy’s nation continues to hold back a Russian military widely regarded as one of the most powerful in the world but has suffered numerous casualties, some from Russian airstrikes on civilian targets.

During the interview with Zakaria, he displayed a wide range of emotions, including defiance in the face of the invasion, pride in his nation’s response, frustration with other world leaders for not taking his earlier warnings about Russia seriously, concern about what Russian is President Vladimir Putin could act next, despairing at the losses his nation is suffering. “Unfortunately, our dignity will not save lives,” he once said.

Discussing the negotiations, Zelenskyy said his nation was ready for only limited compromises, but not for handing over territories that its citizens are fighting so hard to preserve. He said his nation needs “guarantees of security, sovereignty, restoration of territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country” to agree to stop fighting.

“There are compromises that we as an independent state cannot be ready for,” he said. “All the compromises in terms of our territorial integrity and our sovereignty, and the Ukrainian people spoke about it — they didn’t greet Russian soldiers with a bouquet of flowers, they greeted them with bravery, they greeted them with guns in hand. ”

Zelenskyy, who became president in 2019, also said he had said for years that Ukraine deserved to be fully integrated into Europe as a member of both NATO and the European Union. He said even promising those things could have helped block Russian expansionism.

“If Russia continues to probe, test the crowd and see no response from the West, they will continue to advance,” he said. “I’ve been talking about this from day one of my presidency.”

Zelenskyy reiterated that he had pleaded with other world leaders ahead of the current invasion.

“I told them we were running out of time,” he said. “You must immediately admit Ukraine into NATO. We didn’t have much time. You must accept Ukraine as a member of the EU. We deserve these alliances.”

But he noted: “Everyone in the West has told me that we have no chance of NATO or EU membership. I asked them not to corner the Ukrainian people because our people are brave.”

Zelenskyy, who is Jewish and lost members of his family in the Holocaust during World War II, said he found it absurd that Putin, conjuring up the image of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, said Ukraine was from Neo dominated -Nazis.

“That’s a ridiculous statement to me,” he said, adding that it’s still very concerning. “The fact is, if he’s serious about that statement, he could be capable of the most appalling steps because that would mean this isn’t a game for him.”

Throughout the interview, Zelenskyy spoke about the pride and resilience of the people of Ukraine.

“Russian forces came to exterminate us, to kill us, and we demonstrated the dignity of our people and our army,” he said.

Zakaria asked Zelenskyy how he, his wife and two children were doing under the stress of the current war.

“I’m doing pretty well,” said Zelenskyy. “Right now my weakest point is the loss of people, the loss of children in that number and that huge number of victims. I go to bed with this information about children killed and we continue to pray to prevent new casualties, but so far we have not achieved these results.”

He added, “My kids know exactly what’s happening and I don’t know if it’s good or bad.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/20/zelenskyy-ukraine-zakaria-interview-00018716?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Zelenskyy says he is ready to talk to Putin but not to give up his country’s independence

Fry Electronics Team

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