Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Britain’s Financial Times on Tuesday that Ukraine needed victory over Russia “on the battlefield” before any peace talks.
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“Victory must first of all be on the battlefield,” said the president, repeating that his country needed at least “as many weapons as the Russians.”
He stressed that “for the time being, we cannot move forward in a strong way” without incurring heavy losses, calling on Ukraine’s western allies to provide more weapons to his country.
Asked what Ukraine considered a “victory” in this war, Mr. Zelensky opined that a return to the situation before the Russian invasion on February 24 would be a “dangerous temporary victory” before the end of the full occupation of the country. .
Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 was followed by a clash with the Moscow-backed pro-Russian separatists who controlled swathes of the east of the country before the Russian invasion began.
Asked about the suspension of talks with Russia since the end of March, the Ukrainian president replied that he “has not changed” his position on the fact that “all wars must end at the negotiating table.”
“I am ready to have direct talks with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, whether I like it or not, but if we are talking about ending the war and not carelessly. I am ready for this. I don’t think there is anyone else to talk to in Russia with him.”