Failure of talks with Putin would mean a 3rd World War: Zelensky
Kyiv, March 21, 2022
As Moscow has continued its invasion of Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he is ready for negotiations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, but warned that if the talks fail, it "would mean that this is a third World War".
"I'm ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war," Zelensky said while speaking to CNN on Sunday night.
"I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War," he added.
As the invasion was nearing a month, the President told CNN that "we have always insisted on negotiations. We have always offered dialogue, offered solutions for peace".
"And I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. It's time to meet. Time to talk. It is time to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine."
Zelensky also listed his priorities for the talks, which are; "the end of the war, security guarantees, sovereignty, restoration of territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country, real protection for our country".
The Ukrainian leader further said that if his country was a NATO member, there would have been no war.
"I'd like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people. If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately. Because people are dying on a daily basis," Zelensky said, while adding that he was grateful for the aid NATO has provided since the invasion began on February 24.
When asked about how he was faring since the last 26 days of war, the President said he was "doing just everything that everyone else in Ukraine is doing".
"We have made up our team to defend our country, so it seems to me that the person does not need to turn into anyone else. That is important when you can be just yourself," he told CNN. "So I am holding up quite well."
Zelensky also admitted that his weakest point was losing people and children in these "huge numbers".
"I go to sleep with this information about children who were killed and we are continuing to pray in order to prevent new losses of people, but so far we haven't attained these results," he said, adding that "we are trying to defend our sovereignty, defend our country."