President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for BBC HARDtalk: I believe in the possibility of achieving peace in Donbas, otherwise I would not have run for the President

12 October 2020 - 12:43

Achieving peace and restoring territorial integrity on the terms of Ukraine will be difficult, but it is possible if Ukraine is assisted by international partners. This was emphasized by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for BBC HARDtalk.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that after his election as President, his team managed to unblock the Normandy process and get all parties back at the negotiating table.

"President of France Emmanuel Macron was ready, he really supports Ukraine. I am also thankful to Ms. Merkel. We got the President of the Russian Federation back at the table," the President said.

According to him, thanks to the resumption of negotiations in the Normandy and Minsk formats, 140 illegally detained persons were released and a regime of silence was established, which has lasted for more than 70 days, despite isolated occasions of shelling on the part of the temporarily occupied territories.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that if earlier there were 80 or 90 thousand violations, now there are much less of them.

"We must not do anything that will escalate this conflict," he said.

The President said that the Ukrainian authorities adhere to the Minsk agreements signed by the fifth President of Ukraine, but they must be flexible.

"It is not right to give control of the borders back to Ukrainian authorities only after the elections are held. We cannot ensure safe elections there. No monitors or observers would go to these territories. Who would come and hold elections if there are armed people there? Everyone understands that. Yet we are following the Minsk process. We need Minsk to be a little bit more flexible," he said.

Asked by the host whether the President of Ukraine believes in the possibility of achieving peace with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelenskyy replied: "I believe in this. Otherwise, I would not have run for the President. This is very difficult and we need the support of the whole world. It's true. But I am not losing faith".

"If I can't stop the war, then there needs to be a different person who will be able to end this tragic story between our countries," he added.