Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that he would accept negotiations with Russia, but only in direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking in a video link to the World Economic Forum, Zelensky said he could find a diplomatic way out of conflict if Putin “understood the reality.”
Zelenskyy added that the first step towards negotiations with Russia would be the withdrawal of Russian troops on the routes that had been in place before Russia began its invasion in late February.
In recent weeks, there have been no signs of a move towards ending the dispute by negotiations, and both sides have accused the other party of not being willing to participate in the negotiations.
Zelenskyy also used part of his speech to condolence the families of those killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in the United States on Tuesday.
“As far as I know, 21 people were killed, including 19 children, which is terrible to kill shooters during peaceful times,” he said.
The key to peace
When Russian troops attacked eastern Ukraine, including Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region, Zelensky adviser Mihailo Podryak urged foreign governments to take action to put pressure on Russia to end the fighting in Ukraine.
“Today, the future of Europe is not formed in Brussels or Davos. It is formed in trenches near Severodonetsk and Bakumut. The duration of this war depends on the speed of imposing energy sanctions and arms supplies. Do you want to end it? The key to peace lies in your capital. “
It followed Zelensky’s message late Tuesday, stating that sending Ukrainian rocket-propelled grenades, tanks, anti-ship missiles and other weapons was the “best investment” to prevent future Russian invasions.
The United States said it would not extend the exemption, which is due to expire on Wednesday, which would allow Russia to repay its debt to international investors.
The Treasury has allowed Russia to make payments using US banks. He said this was a temporary measure to provide an “orderly transition” and allow investors to sell their shares.
Closing that path raises the prospect that Russia may default.
Enlargement of NATO
Delegations from Sweden and Finland were in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, on Wednesday to discuss with Turkish authorities the applications of both countries to join NATO, which met with opposition from Turkey.
Turkey is a follower of Turkey-based Islamic priest Fethullah Gulen, who said that Sweden and Finland organized a 2016 coup attempt with people involved in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) radical group. He accused him of containing the person.
NATO bidding requires approval from all current members of the alliance. NATO Secretary-General Jason Stoltenberg said he was confident that any objections would be overcome and that both Sweden and Finland would be welcomed by the alliance.
Some information in this story comes from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
http://www.swedennews.net/news/272563861/zelenskyy-says-only-path-for-talks-is-directly-with-putin Zelenskyy says the negotiating path is directly related to Putin