Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has given a dire warning to the entire world as he said he is prepared to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” he said to CNN.
“If there’s just a 1 percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. I can tell you about the result of [these] negotiations—in any case, we are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground,” he said.
“Russian forces have come to exterminate us, to kill us. And we can demonstrate that the dignity of our people and our army that we are able to deal a powerful blow, we are able to strike back. But, unfortunately, our dignity is not going to preserve the lives,” the Ukrainian president said.
“I think we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War,” he said.
The Ukrainian president mocked Putin’s assertion that there are Nazis in his nation and blamed Putin for being like a Nazi.
“What we are having now in Mariupol, they had in Leningrad. Everybody knows how many people died in the blockade of Leningrad,” he said.
“These people died because they did not have enough food and water,” he said. “So who is the Nazi?”
He said that he is frightened that the Russian president may be prepared to take “horrendous steps” to capture the city.
“The fact is that if he is serious about this statement he might be capable of very horrendous steps because that would mean that this is not a game for him,” he said.
“If he’s serious about it, if he thinks that this is his mission to conquer our territory and if he sees signs of neo-Nazis in our country, then many questions emerge about what else he is capable of doing for the sake of his ambitions, for the sake of his mission,” he said.
He again argued for NATO membership, saying that his nation would not have been attacked by Russia if it was a NATO member.
“If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started. I’d like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people,” he said.
“If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately because people are dying on a daily basis,” the Ukrainian president said.
“But if you are not ready to preserve the lives of our people, if you just want to see us straddle two worlds, if you want to see us in this dubious position where we don’t understand whether you can accept us or not,” he said. “You cannot place us in this situation, you cannot force us to be in this limbo.”
“I requested them personally to say directly that we are going to accept you into NATO in a year or two or five, just say it directly and clearly, or just say no. And the response was very clear, you’re not going to be a NATO member, but publicly, the doors will remain open,” he said.
Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko has said that President Joe Biden should visit Ukraine during his trip to Europe, but U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that is not going to happen.
“I have not seen any discussions of the president going into Ukraine. But you have to remember, we have discouraged Americans from going into Ukraine. This is a country at war. I can’t imagine that that would be on the table,” she said to CNN.