President of Ukraine

Negotiations with Russia can resume only when Russian army leaves entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea – Podolyak in interview with La Repubblica

1 October 2022 - 15:04

Despite the statement of the authorities of the Russian Federation that it is ready for negotiations, it puts forward only ultimatums, so in such conditions the settlement of the conflict by diplomatic means is impossible, Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said in an interview with the Italian publication La Repubblica.

"Russia does not want to negotiate – it only launches ultimatums. If the Russian army leaves the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea, the negotiations could resume," Podolyak said.

He also said that Russia's announcement of the annexation of the occupied Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as well as the pseudo-referendums held in these territories, do not change anything for Ukraine. These regions were and remain Ukrainian, and the Ukrainian army will fight for their liberation.

"Referendums have no legal force under international law. And Ukraine is ready to do anything to return them. Our people ask us for this. These were farce votes, which they had no relation to. Those who went to vote were pointed at the gun and ordered: "Vote!" Therefore, our counter-offensives continue," the adviser to the head of the President's Office said.

Regarding Russia's threats to use nuclear weapons, Podolyak said: "The chances of a nuclear conflict are not high, but they do exist. And if the world, I mean the civilian part of the world, allows the complete collapse of international nuclear security, we will have catastrophic consequences not only for Ukraine."

According to him, the global response to a possible nuclear attack will have to be taken within the framework of the EU and NATO.