Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is ready to speak directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but “will not compromise on the Russian position during these negotiations,” his deputy told CNN.
Although the talks between the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers, which were held in the Turkish city of Antalya on Thursday, did not lead to any major progress, Ukraine was not too optimistic from the start, said Igor Zhovkva, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of Ukraine.
“It is a very good thing that they met, but unfortunately we can say that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia is not the one who makes the final decision. The final decision to stop the war, to make a ceasefire, to withdraw the troops is taken by one person,” he said, apparently referring to Putin.
Zelensky ready to talk: Zhovkva said that although Zelensky is ready for a diplomatic solution, he has not heard from the Russian president personally or from his aides.
“The last thing I heard from them was that we still have to work in the format of two delegations… But, look, even the agreements reached during these negotiations are not binding,” said Zhovkva, pointing to the humanitarian corridors in Ukraine which “are in progress”. held by Russian forces. »
What Ukraine is ready to give: Zhovkva said Ukraine was open to neutrality “if the NATO bloc is not ready for the time being to accept Ukraine.”
“But at the same time, we need strong security guarantees for Ukraine so that these horrific wars, this horrible aggression will not happen again in the future,” he added.
Zhovkva said Ukraine wanted to work with Putin and its neighbors to establish a system he called “Europe’s renewed security system.”
“My country, the people of Ukraine deserve to be part of the European family… Ukraine is fighting for the security of all of Europe. So when (French) President (Emmanuel) Macron talks about possible European security, how can he talk without having President Zelensky at the table? Without President Zelensky and Ukraine in the European Union? said Zhovkva.