Russia has been conducting military operations in Ukraine for almost a month now. The Eastern European country has been devastated by the onslaught of Russian troops on water, land and air. Although the Moscow-Kiev talks to end the war have continued, no positive results have been achieved so far.
In this context, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday (March 21st) that he was ready to discuss a pledge not to seek NATO membership in exchange for a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees for Ukraine. Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported this information in a report on Tuesday (March 22nd).
“This is a compromise for everyone: because the West does not know what to do with us on NATO, Ukraine wants security guarantees and Russia does not want further expansion of NATO (in Eastern Europe),” President Zelensky said in an interview with a Ukrainian television channel on Monday, March 21, 2022 night.
Kyiv is ready to sit down for talks on Crimea and the former Donbass region occupied by Russian-backed separatists if a ceasefire is reached and the security guarantee process moves forward, Volodymyr Zelensky said.
President Jelensky told CNN on Sunday that he believed the failure to negotiate an end to Russia’s aggression meant a “third world war”. Zelensky said he was ready to hold direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Negotiations are the only way to end the war.
Earlier, in an interview with ABC Television on March 6, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine was no longer willing to be a member of the US-led military alliance NATO. He also agreed to hold talks in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine.
In an interview with an interpreter, President Zelensky stated that he was no longer willing to join NATO. He understands that NATO is not ready to accept Ukraine. In his words, “I do not want to be the president of a country that begs on its knees.”
Volodymyr Zelensky added that he understood that NATO would not offend Russia. They are afraid to get into this controversial issue.
It is to be noted that the Russian troops started attacking Ukraine on the morning of February 24. Russia’s armed forces were the first in Europe after World War II to launch an attack on Ukraine by land, air and sea. The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a Russian military base.
Within a week of the onslaught, many cities in the Eastern European country were reduced to rubble. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than three million Ukrainians have fled the country to save their lives since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.