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Zelenskyy on negotiations with Russia: Partners aren't pushing

Zelenskyy on negotiations with Russia: Partners aren't pushing Photo: Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine (Vitalii Nosach/RBC-Ukraine)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with journalists assures that Western partners are not pushing Ukraine toward negotiations with Russia. Ukraine has chosen a platform for diplomacy - the Peace Summit.

"Our partners are not pushing us. However, I feel that this sentiment is present globally. Here, we need to be very resilient and strong. We have chosen the right platform today where we have the initiative - the Peace Summit," the head of state said.

Peace Summit

The president noted that as a result of the Peace Summit, Ukraine wants to achieve a joint communiqué. It should address several areas - energy, including nuclear, humanitarian issues, shipping, etc.

"We want to secure free navigation. Any cargo through Ukrainian waters without any risk. This is also about the safety of people in Odesa and the south in general. Because they (Russian army - ed.) are hitting the ports - this affects infrastructure, the sea, and the economy. Additionally, we need to take serious steps toward facilitating the exchange of POWs. In the humanitarian aspect, the exchange of POWs is a double issue, similar to energy," the president explained.

He mentioned that the issue of prisoner exchange also includes the return of children.

"If we have a significant number of countries and a corresponding communiqué, I believe this will be our diplomatic advantage. After that, we can organize platforms in various countries where each of these points will be technically worked out. Then we can present this plan to Russian representatives," Zelenskyy added.

The president stressed that the agreement on the points of the peace formula should resemble the grain deal. Back then the plan was agreed upon with the UN and Turkiye, who then separately agreed on it with Russia. Zelenskyy believes it is important not to involve only two countries, otherwise, the Russians might "back out," as they did with the grain corridor.

"It was very difficult. Therefore, a plan on these three points is necessary. If we succeed, it will definitely open the way for the next meeting, where all other important issues should be developed," the president emphasized.

Zelenskyy highlighted that before talking with Russia, there should be a detailed plan agreed upon by the whole world.

"We are working in different directions. I am speaking with leaders. Andriy Yermak is handling diplomacy. Yesterday he presented an analytical document on Ukraine in NATO with Rasmussen in Denmark. In Brussels, he and our team met with many ambassadors, including those from China and the Global South, regarding the Summit," the president noted.

Negotiations with Russia

Ukraine and Russia held several rounds of negotiations at the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022. These took place in Belarus and Istanbul. However, no agreements were reached.

Later, Ukrainian and Western media reported that Ukraine refused to agree to Russia's demands, which essentially amounted to capitulation.

Currently, Ukraine is preparing a peace summit to be held in Switzerland in June. This will be a diplomatic platform for countries to discuss peace opportunities in Ukraine.

For more information on the Peace Summit and Ukraine's plans, read our article.