Ukraine to drop NATO ambition
Ukraine’s president, Vlodymyr Zelenskyy, has stated that he is willing to discuss Ukraine’s vow not to pursue NATO membership in exchange for a ceasefire, the removal of Russian forces, and a guarantee of Ukraine’s security.
“It’s a compromise for everyone,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with media, “for the West, which doesn’t know what to do with us in terms of NATO, for Ukraine, which wants security guarantees, and for Russia, which doesn’t want further NATO expansion.”
After a ceasefire and moves toward giving security assurances, he added, he will be willing to address the status of Crimea and the eastern Donbas territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Mr. Zelenskyy had suggested earlier in the day that a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was crucial to understanding their position.
“I believe that without this meeting, it will be impossible to fully comprehend what they [the Russians] are willing to do to end the war,” Ukraine’s president said in a televised interview, according to Interfax Ukraine.
Mr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians last week that they should accept the possibility that they will not be admitted to the US-led NATO military alliance, which is a primary Russian issue that it used to justify its invasion.
“Ukraine is not a NATO member… We’d heard for years that the doors were open, but that we wouldn’t be able to enter. “It’s the truth, and it needs to be acknowledged,” he remarked.
“I’m glad our people are starting to realise this and putting their trust in themselves and the partners who are assisting us.”
Russia launched an attack on Ukraine on February 24 in what it described as a “special operation” to “denazify” the Eastern European republic.
According to the UN human rights office, at least 925 civilians have died and 1,400 have been injured in the nearly one-month-long conflict (OHCHR).
According to the United Nations Migration Agency, almost 6.5 million people have been displaced within Ukraine as of March 16, in addition to the 3.2 million refugees who have already fled the country.
According to the International Organization for Migration, there may be more people displaced in Ukraine than the 13 million who were displaced in Syria during the civil conflict.
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