The Ukraine war can only be resolved “through diplomacy”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday amid stalemate in talks between Kyiv and Moscow.
He told a Ukrainian television channel that it would end with diplomacy. The war “will be bloody, there will be war but only through diplomacy will it definitely end”.
“Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be stable. I do not know in what format – with the mediators, without them, in a larger group, at the presidential level,” he said.
“There is something that can only be reached at the negotiating table,” he said. “We want everything back (as it was before)” but “Russia does not want that”, he said without elaborating.
The outcome of the talks, which may have different issues “according to the time of the meeting”, must be “fair” for Ukraine, Zelensky stressed.
The president spoke of a document guaranteeing security for his nation, saying it would be “signed by friends and partners in Ukraine without Moscow”. He also said that bilateral talks would be held with Russia at the same time.
He also recalled Kiev’s absolute condition for continuing talks that Russia would not kill Ukrainian troops who defended Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks.
Zelensky noted that Russian troops “offered a chance from Azovstal, finding a way to get these people out alive”.
“The most important thing for me is to protect the maximum number of people and soldiers.”
According to Moscow, 2,439 Ukrainians have surrendered at the plant since May 16, with a final 500 on Friday.
On Tuesday, Mikhail Podoliak, Kiev’s chief negotiator, said talks with Russia had been “suspended” after regular meetings were held in the early stages of the conflict, but without significant results.
The next day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Kyiv authorities of not wanting to continue talks to end hostilities.
“Negotiations are not really moving forward and we see a complete lack of will on the part of the Ukrainian negotiators to continue this process,” he said.
The last talks took place on April 22, according to the Russian news agency.
After failing to occupy Kyiv after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops are now concentrating on the east of the country, where fierce clashes are taking place.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)