Ukraine’s President Volodmyr Zelensky has made the neutrality that Russia demands of his country conditional on the liberation of all its territory, including the Donbass region and the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.
In an interview broadcast on Monday (2) by Saudi television channel Al Arabiya, Zelensky said that “the Russians insist on neutrality, and for us the most important thing is the liberation of Donbass and all the temporarily occupied territories, as well as the Crimean peninsula”.
Zelensky again accused Russia, which demands that Ukraine pledge not to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and remain neutral, of trying to divide its country through a referendum in the occupied territories on their independence such as the one carried out in Crimea in 2014, when that territory was annexed.
In addition to the liberation of all Ukraine, the president stressed that, in order to accept the neutrality requested by Moscow, he requires “security guarantees not to be the target of similar attacks in the future and weapons in case they face a war like the current one”.
In any case, he reiterated that any decision in this regard will be submitted to “a referendum in which all people will participate.”
Regarding the progress of the negotiations, Zelensky complained that “Russian negotiators do not have the capacity to make decisions, and the last word will always be the [presidente da Rússia, Vladimir] Putin”, which is why he again called for a direct dialogue between the two presidents.