Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said such a meeting was needed to understand Putin’s conditions for ending the war.
Russia and Ukraine have had several talks via video conferences, but so far no major progress has been made. Zelensky said that direct discussions with his Russian counterparts “in every form” are now needed to understand the conditions for ending hostilities.
“Without this meeting, we have a complete understanding of what they are preparing to stop the war, and what they are preparing if we are not ready for this or a compromise. It’s impossible to do, “Zelensky said in interviews with many broadcasters in Europe.
Mr Zelensky said that if Ukraine enjoys security, it is ready to discuss the situation in the Crimean Peninsula attached to Russia and the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“This is a very difficult situation for everyone. For Crimea, Donbus, and everyone. To find an escape route, we must take this first step I mentioned. It’s safe. Security, the end of the war, “he said.
Putin called the Ukrainian invasion a “special military operation,” meaning “demilitarization and non-najifi,” which took people with Russian roots from “genocide” in separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. Claims to be trying to protect. Intention to occupy Ukrainian territory.
Western allies have rejected Putin’s characterization of the conflict as an excuse to wage a provocative, illegal and unfounded war intended to satisfy Russia’s expansionist agenda in the region.
Separately, Zelensky told the Ukrainian press Saspirne that any transaction agreed with Russia must be submitted to the Ukrainian referendum.
“People need to weigh in,” Zelensky said. “Return to the referendum,” he added, as some of the terms of the peace agreement can be “historical” in importance.
The Ukrainian president reiterated his intention to abandon his plans to join NATO, but insisted on the security of his country, including NATO countries.
An important requirement of Moscow is that Ukraine declares neutrality and does not join the military alliance.
Ukraine is concrete and enforceable, unlike the soft pledge of the United States, Britain and Russia to secure territorial integrity jointly under the Budapest Memorandum of Understanding in 1994 in exchange for Ukraine’s abandonment of nuclear weapons. Claims some security.
Zelensky said in Video address On Monday, eight humanitarian corridors functioned and more than 8,000 people were evacuated along the route.
“Thanks to everyone who has worked for the people,” he said.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Bereshchuk said on Tuesday that efforts to evacuate civilians from besieged towns and cities are concentrated in the city of Mariupol, but with Russia to allow the safe passage of trapped residents. He said he did not announce any agreement.
The city surrounded by Mariupol, the strategic port of the Sea of Azov, has seen some of the worst battles of the war. City officials and aid groups said the Russian bombing cut off Mariupol’s electricity, water and food supplies, putting residents in a desperate struggle for survival.
Occupying Mariupol is an important objective for the Russian side as it helps Russia establish an overpass to Crimea.