Ukraine war: Ukraine’s president said he was ready to “compromise” on the status of two separate pro-Russian regions that Putin recognized as independent.

Ukraine war: Russia has said that it does not want neighboring Ukraine to join NATO. (file)

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President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was no longer pushing for NATO membership for Ukraine, a delicate issue that was one of the reasons Russia attacked its pro-Western neighbour.

In another clear sign aimed at pacifying Moscow, Zelensky said he was open to a “compromise” on the status of the two separate pro-Russian regions, which President Vladimir Putin called for an offensive on February 24. previously recognized as independent.

“I understood about this question a long time ago that NATO is not ready to accept Ukraine,” Zelensky said in an interview aired Monday night on ABC News.

“The alliance is afraid of controversial things and a confrontation with Russia,” the president said.

Referring to NATO membership, Zelensky said through an interpreter that he does not want to be the president of a country that is begging on its knees.

Russia has said it does not want neighboring Ukraine to join NATO, the transatlantic alliance formed at the start of the Cold War to protect Europe from the Soviet Union.

In recent years the coalition has expanded further and further east, angering the Kremlin for taking over former Soviet bloc countries.

Russia sees NATO expansion as a threat, as it carries the military posture of these new Western allies at its doorstep.

Shortly before stunning the world by ordering an invasion of Ukraine, Putin recognized as independent two separatist pro-Russian “republics” in eastern Ukraine — Donetsk and Lugansk — that have been at war with Kyiv since 2014.

Putin now wants Ukraine to recognize him as sovereign and independent.

When ABC asked him about this Russian demand, Zelensky said he was open to talks.

“I’m talking about security guarantees,” he said.

He added that these two regions are “recognized by none other than Russia, these pseudo-republics. But we can discuss and come to an agreement on how these regions will remain.”

“It’s important to me how people from those regions who want to be part of Ukraine will live, who will say in Ukraine that they want to keep them in,” Zelensky said.

“So the question is more difficult than simply accepting them,” the president said.

“This is another ultimatum and we are not ready for an ultimatum. What does President Putin need to do to start a dialogue, start a dialogue, rather than live in an informational bubble without oxygen.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by UttarPradeshLive.Com staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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