Zelensky is Not Interested in Meeting Putin for Peace Talks
In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was not interested in meeting Vladimir Putin for peace talks, adding that Putin was "nobody" to him.
Volodymyr Zelensky said he "doesn't understand who makes the decisions in Russia" and added that while Moscow says it wants peace, it is actually lying by attacking Ukraine with missiles.
"They don't want any talks, and that was the case before the invasion. President Putin decided that," Zelensky said, accusing Putin of living in an "information bubble" and not really knowing what was happening on the battlefield.
However, Zelensky also warned that Putin is waiting for the West to "get tired" of supporting Ukraine.
"He (Putin) does not want negotiations because he does not want peace. I am convinced that Ukraine is only the first step for him. I am convinced that he is fighting a big war. And since the whole world is now helping Ukraine, he does not think about it. He thinks: ‘Well, now our work in Ukraine will not be finished, but we will wait ... the world will not remain united, they will get tired and I will move on.’"
"But after Ukraine, there will be more steps, there will be other countries, if we do not manage to resist. I think we will manage, we will get support and we will win"
The Ukrainian president also responded to speculation of a Russian offensive in Ukraine in the coming weeks by recalling how he felt when he realized the invasion had begun last year.
Recalling the night of the Russian invasion almost a year ago, he described it as the beginning of a long, difficult day that was not yet over.
"I remember there were explosions and phone calls in the night and I said to my wife, 'Get ready. You have to prepare our children and tell them what's going on and be prepared because it won't be safe to stay in the presidential residence’ where we were living at the time."
Asked how close the invading Russian forces came to him, the president said "nobody knows."
"There were some people who were detained in this area, this government area, and it's only a few kilometers from here," Zelensky said.
"There was a lot of intelligence... And a lot of that intelligence was telling me to move fast and go somewhere... Don't believe it when they say there were dozens of attempts, etc. I don't know, maybe the secret services know more about it."
Asked if a meeting with Putin would help end the war, Zelensky replied:
"This is of no interest to me. I really don't understand who makes the decisions in Russia".
He said his number one priority was the people and that he did not want to fight on Russian soil.
"I just want them to stop the war as soon as possible and leave our country in the fastest way", noted Zelensky.
To another question - whether it is not too late for negotiations, Zelensky answered:
"After this large-scale invasion of Ukraine, for me Putin is nobody, nobody." Zelensky said he tried to talk to Putin in the Normandy format before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and that Putin "said one thing and did another." "Who is he now? After a full scale invasion, to me he is nobody, nobody".
Zelensky used the opportunity during the interview to thank again for the decision to send tanks to Ukraine.
Read more from the 337th day of the war in Ukraine.
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