Ukraine is ready to negotiate with the Russian Federation to end the war, as a diplomatic path will save the lives of millions of people. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a press conference for international and Ukrainian media in Kyiv.
The Head of State stressed that from the very beginning of Russia's aggression, he insisted on holding direct talks with Russia, as any format of dialogue through mediators is ineffective.
"I want to stop the war, to end it. There is a diplomatic path, there is a military path. So any mentally healthy person always chooses the diplomatic path, because he or she knows: even if it is difficult, it can prevent the loss of thousands, tens of thousands, and with such neighbors - hundreds of thousands and maybe even millions of lives. There may be losses of millions of people. We don't want that, and any leader, whether he wants it personally or not, has no right to cancel the diplomatic path," Volodymyr Zelenskyy is convinced.
The President noted that today Ukraine's international partners, including the European Union, the United States and Canada, saw Russia's reluctance to hold peace talks.
"Today the trust of our partners in us is at the highest level. And there is simply no trust in Russia. Today these are antonyms - "Russia" and "trust",” the Head of State noted.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukrainians have shown their fearlessness in the fight against the aggressor, so he is not afraid to negotiate with Russia.
"The leader has no right to be afraid when it comes to our state and our independence," the President said.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that if our people in Mariupol are killed, if a pseudo-referendum on pseudo-republics is announced in the temporarily occupied territories in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Ukraine will withdraw from the negotiation process.
"I believe that this (holding a pseudo-referendum - ed.) will not benefit the diplomatic settlement of this situation. This will definitely hinder the end of the war through diplomacy. This is definitely the wrong move by Russia. This means that everything that happened before, all those meetings of diplomatic groups - it's all fiction and political theater," said the President.
The President also called on the citizens of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions not to help the occupiers.