Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he’s no longer looking to be a member of NATO in the face of an ongoing invasion by Russia.
According to France 24, Zelensky is looking to “compromise” the status of his membership in the allyship of nations if it means that Putin will back off:
“I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that … NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine,” Zelensky said in an interview aired Monday night on ABC News. “The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia,” the president added.
Zelensky said through an interpreter that he doesn’t want to be president of a “country which is begging something on its knees,” and since NATO doesn’t seem to be accepting them, they don’t want to be part of NATO.
The issue of Ukraine being a member of NATO, and potentially having Nuklear weapons on their border, was a major issue of contention for the Russian government.
Just before the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin justified his invasion by recognizing the independence of two pro-Russian “republics” in eastern Ukraine — Donetsk and Lugansk, areas Putin now wants Kyiv to recognize as well.
When asked about that demand, Zelensky said he was open to a conversation, saying, “I’m talking about security guarantees.”
He said these two regions “have not been recognized by anyone but Russia, these pseudo republics. But we can discuss and find the compromise on how these territories will live on.”
“What is important to me is how the people in those territories are going to live who want to be part of Ukraine, who in Ukraine will say that they want to have them in,” Zelensky said. “So the question is more difficult than simply acknowledging them,” the president said.
“This is another ultimatum, and we are not prepared for ultimatums. What needs to be done is for President Putin to start talking, start the dialogue instead of living in the informational bubble without oxygen.”