Zelensky says Ukraine should discuss Crimea and Donabss with Russia

Zelensky ready to discuss Crimea and Donbass with Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that Crimea and Donbass were part of a difficult story for everyone. This issue must be resolved after Ukraine receives security guarantees, he added. Zelensky also announced his readiness to discuss the above-mentioned territories with Russian President Vladimir Putin, RIA Novosti reports.

According to Zelensky, security guarantees are the top priority for a compromise between Russia and Ukraine.

"I believe that this is a very difficult story for everyone — both Crimea and Donbass. In order to find a way out there, one needs to take this first step, which I told you about — security guarantees, the end of the war. At the same time, one needs to agree that we are resolving the issues of temporarily occupied territories," Zelensky said.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs to calm down as far as its intention to become a NATO member is concerned, because the alliance is not ready for it.

"There are NATO member countries that want to be guarantors of our security. They can not guarantee 100% membership in the alliance to us, but they are ready to do everything that the alliance would be supposed to do if we were members of the alliance," Zelensky said.

This is a normal compromise for everyone:

  • for the West, which does not know what to do with Ukraine on the NATO issue,
  • for Ukraine that wants security guarantees,
  • and for Russia, which does not want NATO to expand.

Earlier in March, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) were independent and sovereign states. Ukraine and other countries need to recognize that, he added. According to Peskov, Crimea is a Russian region both de facto and de jure.

Vladimir Medinsky, the head of the Russian delegation at the talks with Ukraine, said that Moscow and Kiev came as close as possible in discussing an agreement on Ukraine's neutral status. There are nuances in the positions of the agreements related to security guarantees for Ukraine, which Kiev will receive should it eventually decide to refuse to join the alliance.

Medinsky also said that the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations on the demilitarization of Ukraine were somewhere halfway.

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