President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that he will no longer push for Ukraine's accession to NATO, a sensitive topic that was one of Russia's mentioned points for attacking its pro-Western neighbor.
In yet another exerted attempt to appease Moscow, Zelensky noted that he is willing to "compromise" on the situation of two breakaway pro-Russian territories that President Vladimir Putin acknowledged as independent prior to launching the attack on February 24. “I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that… NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine.” Zelensky said in an interview which was aired Monday night on ABC News. “The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia.” the Ukraine president added.
Concerning NATO entry, Zelensky has stated through a translator that he does not like being a president of a "country which is begging something on its knees."
Russia has declared its opposition to neighboring Ukraine joining NATO, the global alliance formed at the start of the Cold War to safeguard Europe from the Soviet Union.
In recent years past, the alliance has stretched its ties eastward to include then Soviet bloc countries, angering the Kremlin. Russia views NATO expansion, as well as the military movement of these new Western allied forces on its backyard, as a security risk.
Putin acknowledged as independent two separatist pro-Russian "republics" in eastern Ukraine — Donetsk and Lugansk — that have been at odds with Kyiv since 2014. Putin now wishes for Ukraine to recognize their sovereignty and independence as well.
When ABC questioned Zelensky about Russian's request, he said he was willingly open to discussion. "I'm talking about security guarantees," he said.
He said these two regions “have not been recognized by anyone but Russia, these pseudo-republics. But we can discuss and find the compromise on how these territories will live on.” “What is important to me is how the people in those territories are going to live who want to be part of Ukraine, who in Ukraine will say that they want to have them in.” Zelensky also said.
“So the question is more difficult than simply acknowledging them,” the president said.
“This is another ultimatum and we are not prepared for ultimatums. What needs to be done is for President Putin to start talking, start the dialogue instead of living in the informational bubble without oxygen.”
It has almost been two weeks since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, yet the Ukrainian troops have continued to thwart their adversaries' movement with resistance that has earned praise from Western allies.
According to analysts, their progress against a statically far supreme military country was bolstered by a mix of good planning, national solidarity, and Russian errors. The situation, however, is far from certain, with President Vladimir Putin continually asserting that nothing will come in the way of achieving his goals. Recognizing that the US and NATO will not step to its aid on the battlefield, Ukraine's approach has centered on "bleeding Moscow to make occupation untenable."