In an interview with CNN published on March 20, President Volodymyr Zelensky said there are compromises he is not ready to make – they concern the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
When asked by the host about the demands of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin – in particular, the recognition of the legitimacy of Russia's occupation of Crimea and the recognition of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk – Zelensky replied:
“There are compromises which we cannot accept as an independent state: any compromises relating to our territorial integrity, our sovereignty, and the Ukrainian people. They did not greet Russian soldiers with bouquets of flowers, they met them courageously, with weapons in their hands,” he said.
According to Zelensky, one cannot force the president of another country to recognize something by force, as well as win over the citizens of another country in the same way.
On March 18, adviser to the head of the President's Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, said that Ukraine's stance in negotiations with Russia remains unchanged: a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and strict security guarantees with specific formulas. According to him, the negotiations could go on for at least several weeks, although there are signs that Moscow's position has become more "reasonable."
At the same time, Podolyak stressed that there are concessions that Ukraine is definitely not ready to make, in particular, to give up its territories.