Zelensky comments on possible meeting with Russian dictator Putin

13 May, 02:30 PM
Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:President's Office of Ukraine)

Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:President's Office of Ukraine)

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he is ready for in-person negotiations with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, but only face-to-face, and with the purpose of having a real dialogue, during an interview with Italian TV station Rai 1 on May 13.

He rejected any meeting that would simply result in the Russian dictator attempting to force ultimatums onto Ukraine.

Zelensky added that today Ukraine needs a pragmatic dialogue, while Russia has to show it’s willing to negotiate because otherwise, it will be too late to bring any substantial changes to the ongoing war.

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“One more bloody scene – similar to what we saw in Bucha, Borodyanka and what we see in Mariupol now – and people will run out of patience,” said the president.

Each war should be followed by peace, Zelensky noted.

“Even if you have just a 1% probability to resolve a military conflict through dialogue, that needs to be done,” he said.

However, Zelensky rebuffed ideas that negotiations with Putin should be held at any cost, saying that Ukraine has searched for non-violent tactics for negotiations for many years, but “…now we have dead bodies on that way, the dead bodies of our people.”

Zelensky also explained that negotiations with the Russian Federation become more complicated with each passing day.

“Each day [Russians] invade small, I’d say, towns where people still live or used to live,” the president explained.

“Many of them fled their houses. Many of them were killed. When we liberate these places, we see evidence of atrocities, killings and the destruction of critical infrastructure by Russian combatants. That makes possibilities for negotiations more complicated.”

Zelensky mentioned that Ukraine wants peace and demands that the Russian Federation have respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, its traditions and its people, its language and its citizens, and its society and its independence.

“The Russian Federation ruined everything,” the president stated.

“So many things need to be renewed. What does this mean? Russia should remove its army. There are no Ukrainian soldiers on Russian territory. I’m not even saying that Russia should return all the things its stolen. That’s not the priority for us. Our priority is our people. Leave, leave the territory of our country.”

On April 27, Turkish defense minister Hulusa Akar said that Ankara is following developments in Ukraine closely, and he has hope that a meeting between Zelensky and Putin will happen in a matter of days. However, Bankova has pushed back against such rosy statements, saying that the context and timeline for such a meeting have yet to be agreed upon.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during his meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in April, offered to host a meeting between Zelensky and Putin, but there has been no word on Putin’s reaction to this proposal.

Later, Erdogan spoke to Zelensky, discussing humanitarian aid in Ukraine, including the evacuation of soldiers and civilians from Mariupol. The two leaders also spoke about Turkey’s role in negotiating international security guarantees for Ukraine and its territorial integrity.

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