Zelensky: West Fears Both Russian and Ukrainian Defeat in Ongoing War

World » UKRAINE | May 18, 2024, Saturday // 11:30
Bulgaria: Zelensky: West Fears Both Russian and Ukrainian Defeat in Ongoing War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Russia lacks the strength to launch another attack on Kyiv. "They do not have the capability for a large-scale offensive against the capital, as they did at the beginning of the invasion," Zelensky stated in an interview with Agence France-Presse. He indicated that the Kremlin's main targets are Kharkiv and Donbas.

Zelensky also criticized Western countries for preventing him from using their weapons to strike Russia. "The Russians can attack us on our territory, which is their biggest advantage, but we can't use Western weapons against their systems located in Russia. We have no right," the Ukrainian president remarked, noting that he had raised this issue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Zelensky expressed that the West is caught in a paradox, fearing both a Russian defeat and a Ukrainian defeat. "The West is afraid of Russia losing the war, yet they do not want Ukraine to lose it either. A final victory for Ukraine would mean a defeat for Russia, and vice versa," he explained.

Regarding the Kharkiv region, Zelensky noted that the current Russian offensive could be just the first wave of a larger assault. He mentioned that Moscow aims to attack Kharkiv, but assured that the situation is under control. "They launched their operation, and it may come in several waves. But after this wave, the situation is under control," he said.

Zelensky emphasized that any battle for Kharkiv would be challenging for the Russian army. "They want to attack, but they understand it will be a tough fight. This is a large city, and they know we have the forces to fight for a long time," he added.

Zelensky hopes for China's involvement in the Ukraine peace conference that Switzerland plans to host in June, which Russia will not attend. "I would like China to participate in this summit. Influential countries like China can pressure Russia. The more countries that support ending the war, the more Russia will have to listen," he said.

He noted that Chinese leaders perceive a Russian loss not as a defeat for Russia, but as a victory for the US. "For them, it's not a win for Ukraine but a win for the West. They seek a balance," Zelensky observed. He highlighted China's economic ties with Russia and interest in the EU market, stressing that China doesn't want to lose Russia as an ally.

Zelensky outlined three key issues for discussion in Switzerland. The first is ensuring free movement in the Black Sea to protect global food security by enabling Ukrainian grain exports. The second is an agreement to halt strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure. The third is the return of thousands of children deported to Russia, for which the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.

He believes that if these three measures gain majority support at the Geneva meeting, it will be difficult for Russia to obstruct them.

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Tags: Ukraine, Zelensky, Russia, West

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