Zelenskyy says Russia’s holding of “pseudo-referendums” in occupied Ukrainian areas would mean an end to peace talks. Any attempt by Russia to form new “pseudo-people’s republics” in Ukraine would also be a dealbreaker, he said. kyiv has accused Moscow of planning such referendums in order to legitimize the Russian invasion. Something is loading.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained the factors that would put an end to possible peace talks with Russia, namely the latter’s holding of “pseudo-referendums” in the occupied Ukrainian regions and any attempt on its part to annex more territories.
At a press conference at a kyiv metro station on Sunday, Zelenskyy explained what would make Ukraine walk away from negotiations with Russia.
“If our people in Mariupol are killed, if there are pseudo-referendums and the establishment of new pseudo-people’s republics, Ukraine will not continue negotiations,” Zelenskyy said.
“But our citizens, located in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson region and many other settlements in the Zaporizhzhia region of eastern Ukraine, should know, and they should not help the occupying forces. ”
He added that Russia should refrain from holding referenda in the occupied areas as this would not facilitate a diplomatic settlement of the conflict.
“It would definitely be a bad decision on Russia’s part,” Zelenskyy added. “That would mean that all those meetings of the diplomatic teams were fiction and it’s just theater – with very bad actors.”
Ukraine has previously accused Russia of scheduling referendums in the occupied territories from Kherson to Zaporizhzhia.
According to The Kyiv Independent, the Ukrainian army has been informed of a referendum held in Kherson, scheduled for April 27. the move and declaring, “Kherson is and always will be Ukraine.”
At Sunday’s press event, Zelenskky also said he did not believe messages passed to Russian leader Vladimir Putin from friendly countries as a form of mediation would work, signaling that he was open to face-to-face negotiations. .
“This war can only be stopped by the person who started it,” Zelenskyy said of Putin. “I want the war to end.”
“There is a diplomatic channel. There is a military route. And any sane person would always opt for the diplomatic route because they would know that even though it is difficult, the diplomatic route can save hundreds, thousands, even millions. lives,” he added.
Ukraine has put offers on the table, saying it could be open to negotiation with Russia if corridors are opened for soldiers and citizens to evacuate Mariupol. Zelenskyy also noted that the killing of Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol could end the negotiations.
Reports from Ukraine indicate that Putin may have lost interest in peace negotiations and may seek to seize and annex as much territory as possible. A senior Russian general also expressed similar sentiments, noting that Moscow’s current goal is “to establish full control” over eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.