Ukraine considers neutrality to end war – President
Kiev (RT-New Ziana) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday accused the West of abandoning his country to face a Russian military attack, and only giving it token support.
He said he was considering negotiating military neutrality and other terms with Moscow to end the war, a long-standing demand of the Russians.
Speaking in the early hours of Friday, President Zelensky said he had reached out to “partners” in the West to tell them Ukraine’s fate was at stake.
“I asked them – are you with us?” he said. “They answered that they are with us, but they don’t want to take us into the alliance. I’ve asked 27 leaders of Europe, if Ukraine will be in NATO, I’ve asked them directly — all are afraid and did not respond”
“We were left by ourselves. Who is ready to go to war for us? Honestly, I don’t see anybody. Who is ready to give Ukraine guarantees of NATO membership? Honestly, everybody is afraid,” the Ukrainian President added.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Thursday, with President Vladimir Putin declaring a special military operation to “demilitarize and de-nazify” Ukraine. Moscow has since told Kiev that it would consider negotiating with the Zelensky government if it agrees to discuss neutral status for the country, among other things.
In an address on Friday, President Zelensky said that he is open to talk about Ukraine’s potential neutral status, but insisted that his country needs third party guarantees.
“We are not afraid of Russia, we are not afraid to talk with Russia, talk about everything: security guarantees for our country and a neutral status. But we are not in NATO now – what security guarantees will we have? Which countries will give them?” he said, before adding that there should be talks that could bring an end to the Russian military offensive.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that “neutral status and rejection of hosting [offensive] weapons systems” are Putin’s “red lines” for Ukraine and that the ball was now in Kiev’s court.