Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak noted that today Ukraine is not only defending itself from Russian aggression - it is protecting the whole European world. So Europe must help. He said this in an interview to leading international media - The New Yorker, Bild and Le Monde.
Andriy Yermak said that the position of Russian troops in the Kyiv direction is currently changing, but "we can believe that only when they leave our country."
The Head of the Office of the President also said that the blockade of the city of Mariupol is continuing. There, people are dying without food and water, and the Russian side is not opening humanitarian corridors to evacuate residents.
Instead, the Russians are trying to force people to go to Russia under the pretext of the only way to survive, as stated by Andriy Yermak.
"Mariupol is blocked. They are ready to completely destroy Mariupol just to take it under control," he added.
According to the Head of the President's Office, given that Russian forces continue to bomb settlements in Ukraine, including civilian infrastructure, the Ukrainian government insists on closing the skies over our country to Russian aviation, but at the same time considers this issue in a realistic manner.
Andriy Yermak emphasized: “If you hear from NATO officials every day that this will not happen, we are not even told "this is a debatable issue", but only "it will never happen"... What to do then? We are realists. We give our partners some way out. We continue to offer our partners - it's not just the war between Ukraine and Russia, we protect you. If something happened in Chornobyl or at ZNPP, it would be 10 times bigger than in Chornobyl, and the population of Europe would have to be evacuated. And all the nations of the world would ask their governments: "What are you doing?"
According to the Head of the Office of the President, from the very beginning of the presidential term, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his team did their best to change the perception of Ukraine: from a country that constantly asks for something, to a country with which one should speak on an equal footing.
"And today we have been fighting for 36 days against one of the strongest armies in the world. We have proved to everyone that we are an important player who will have to be respected by everyone," said Andriy Yermak.
He noted that before the Russian invasion, world leaders had ignored Ukraine's calls for preventive sanctions, which, along with military aid, would be a major deterrent to the aggressor and could affect the situation before the war.
"We continue to talk about sanctions and turned to my good friend Michael McFaul for an analysis of sanctions. We analyze each sanction - how it works, where we are fooled, where they have learned to circumvent these sanctions. These are sanctions that must be effective quickly. Today there is a war, we pay the highest price - we pay with human lives. There is no time for lyrics and delays when our people are being killed," said the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Today, thanks to international restrictive measures against Russia and the successful deterrence of armed aggression by the Ukrainian army, Russia has moved from the language of ultimatums to dialogue, although this dialogue is difficult.
According to Andriy Yermak, Ukraine has always been in favor of dialogue and wants to achieve peace the most. But there are fundamental issues on which compromises are impossible.
"In Zelenskyy's time, Ukraine will not give away a single centimeter of our territory. If Zelenskyy had been President in 2014, we would not have lost Crimea. Because everything started the same way - then and now," he said.
According to the Head of the President's Office, Ukraine, with its struggle for European values, freedom and justice, has once again proved that it deserves to take a worthy place among European countries. Today, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become the leader of the free world, and the entire Ukrainian nation is a true hero.
"Some nations of the world are ready for more than their politicians. People do not believe in excuses why it is now impossible to do everything necessary for Ukraine to be a member of the EU," said the Head of the Office of the President.