Volodymyr Zelensky : "I will not agree to go to war"

Volodymyr Zelensky : "I will not agree to go to war"
# 02 December 2019 15:28 (UTC +04:00)

"Ukraine will not agree to hold elections in the occupied regions until the withdrawal of forces,' Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky id in an interview to Times.

"First is a prisoner exchange, a real exchange within a clear timeframe. Second is, I think, very difficult, and that’s a ceasefire. It was laid down in all the [previous agreements] as the priority, as the first point, in all the agreements and in all the statements. But we have to understand that, indeed, the shooting slowed down. That’s true. But it did not stop. So when we say ceasefire, that’s what we have to achieve. These first two points are related to the lives of people. That’s why, for me, those are the two most important points. When we talk about elections, we have to understand the third point: before elections, we need a full withdrawal, a full disarming of all illegal formations, military formations, no matter the type, no matter the group, no matter the uniform, no matter what weapons. Resolving these three points will create an understanding that we want to end the war. We definitely want that. But that will create an understanding that Russia is also very strongly intent on this," Zelensky said.

Answering the question "And what if the talks achieve nothing?" Mr Zelensky said: "Look, we are at home here. It is a piece of our land that was taken away. I will not agree to go to war in the Donbass. I know there are a lot of hotheads, especially those who hold rallies and say, ‘Let’s go fight and win it all back!’ But at what price? What is the cost? It’s another story of lives and land. And I won’t do it. If that doesn’t satisfy society, then a new leader will come who will satisfy those demands. But I will never go for that, because my position in life is to be a human being above all. And I cannot send them there. How? How many of them will die? Hundreds of thousands, and then an all-out war will start, an all-out war in Ukraine, and then across Europe.

As an answer to the question "What are your impressions and expectations from Putin?" Ukrainian President said: "We’ve had three calls with the President of Russia. I think they were productive. We got our sailors back [in a prisoner exchange]. We got back our guys who wound up behind bars under tragic circumstances, our political prisoners. That’s very important."

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