Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday (5) that he is not “ready” to start talks with Russia unless Moscow withdraws its troops from the occupied areas.
Zelensky cited reports that senior European and American officials had spoken to his government about starting talks to end the war, after a Ukrainian commander said the conflict was at a standstill.
The United States “knows that I am not ready to talk to terrorists, as their words are worthless,” Zelensky told NBC.
“Right now, we have no relationship with the Russians, and they know that’s my stance,” the president said. “They have to leave our territory. Only after that can the world begin diplomacy,” he added.
Zelensky acknowledged that the conflict, which began in February 2022, after the offensive by Russian troops, is at a “difficult” moment, but denied that it is at an impasse.
The sprawling front line has barely moved over the past year, although Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June to reclaim territory occupied by Russia.