Kiev’s readiness to compromise on Ukraine’s neutral status and refusal to join NATO, President Zelensky said again yesterday, this time in an interview with Russian media.
At the same time, the leader of the country, which has been at war with the Russian army for more than a month, insisted that Ki would start such a process only if the Kremlin starts withdrawing its troops. At the same time, Zelensky noted that, at least at this stage, he agrees that the Russian side should leave its troops in the territory controlled by the self-proclaimed republics until February 24.
“I understand that it is impossible to force Russia to completely liberate the territory, it will lead to World War III… So I say this is a compromise ․ “Go back to where it all started. We will try to resolve the difficult issue of Donbas there,” he said.
Zelensky called the statements that Ukraine was going to attack Donbas false, reminding that from 2019 he tried by all possible means to convey to the Kremlin the idea that Ki was not going to return either Crimea or Donbas by military means.
This was the first interview of the President of Ukraine to the independent Russian media since the beginning of the war.
In an interview with “Dozhd”, “Novaya Gazeta”, “Medusa” and “Kommersant” for more than an hour and a half, Zelensky also spoke about the tragic situation in Mariupol, the bodies of thousands of Russian servicemen killed during the Ukrainian wars. about the inappropriate attitude of the military command, in his words.
Prior to the publication of the interview, the Russian authorities had stated that “they will give a legal assessment to the content of the statements of the President of Ukraine, to the fact of their publication.” “Roskomnadzor” warned the media to refrain from publishing it, emphasizing that “an investigation has been launched into the media involved in the conversation.”
The Russian authorities continue to block all media outlets that present information that differs from the government’s policy, including regional websites, other non-Russian Azatutyun service websites, and even the 160th issue of the popular “Masyanya” cartoon series, which tells the story of Putin և About the war in Ukraine.
Despite the blockade by the Russian authorities, yesterday’s interview with the President of Ukraine was already watched by at least several million people on various platforms.
Russia also continues its economic resistance to Western sanctions
The Russian authorities continue their economic resistance to the extremely harsh sanctions imposed by the West due to the invasion of Ukraine. Today, President Putin instructed the government, the Central Bank and Gazprom to prepare a report by March 31 on the change of payments for gas supplies to so-called unfriendly countries from foreign currency to rubles.
Last week, Putin said that European countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia will have to pay for gas in Russian rubles. The move is aimed at boosting the ruble exchange rate under Western sanctions, when much of the Central Bank’s assets are frozen in Western countries. European countries, however, have not yet announced that they are ready to pay for gas in rubles, on the other hand, a number of European countries, first of all with a strong economy, Germany today is not able to give up Russian gas.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pesokov said today that if European countries refused to buy Russian gas in rubles, Russia would simply sell the gas to Archel. “Moscow continues to claim that the West is only a small part of the larger world,” said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Sanctions against Russia have not isolated the country. Russia still has many partners.”
“Russia has a huge number of partners in the world, and there can be no question of isolation. “The West will always find a reason for sanctions, their goal is to stop the development of the Russian Federation,” Lavrov said.
EU countries are trying to reduce their dependence on Russian energy
According to Joseph Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, European countries may give up Russian fuel in the next two years. Meanwhile, European countries are trying to diversify their sources of import, reduce their dependence on Russian energy by negotiating with Azerbaijan, Qatar and other energy-rich countries.
The President of Ukraine, meanwhile, expects more from Western leaders – a full energy embargo – more extensive military assistance. In numerous interviews and messages, Zelensky emphasizes that by buying Russian gas, the Europeans are financing the shelling of Ukrainian cities.
In an interview with The Economist, Zelensky particularly criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for not providing military assistance to Ukraine, noting that the latter is afraid of Russia. According to Zelensky, the most active in the issue of aid is the Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson.