Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said again today that he would meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “to end the war.”
“I think whoever started this war will be able to end it,” Zelensky told a news conference at a subway subway station in central Kiev, reiterating that he was “not afraid to meet” with Putin if he did. led to a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine.
“I have insisted from the beginning on negotiations with the Russian president,” he said. He added: “It is not that I want that, but I have to meet with him in order to resolve this conflict through diplomacy.”
“We trust our partners, but there is no trust in Russia,” Zelenski said.
The Ukrainian president also warned that Kiev would give up negotiations with Moscow if the Russian army killed Ukrainian soldiers buried in the huge Azovstal metallurgical complex in Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine. “In the Kherson region (in the south), then Ukraine will withdraw from any negotiation process,” he said.
He also said that he was “ready” to “exchange our soldiers defending Mariupol”, in “any format”, in order to get “those people who are in a terrible situation, surrounded”.
Zelenski specified that he had “the last contact” with the soldiers buried in the underground corridors of the huge Azovstal factory “an hour ago”.
“Today is one of the most difficult days” since the beginning of the Russian siege of Mariupol in early March, he said.