Zelensky opens door to making neutral status part of peace deal

krainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that his country would consider neutral status as part of a peace deal if such an agreement was guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum.

“Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point,” Zelensky said, according to Reuters.

Zelensky also said that his country was considering using Russian language in Ukraine as part of its talks with Russia, but the president refused to discuss Moscow’s other demands.

His remarks came in a 90-minute video call with Russian journalists. Russian authorities had previously warned Russian media that they should not report on the call, Reuters noted.

Over one month into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova said on Sunday that a failure to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty would mean that “brutality, oligarchy and war criminals prevail on our planet.”

“There is no independent republics on the territory of Ukraine. Russia attacked us in 2014. Russia illegally occupied Crimea and part of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia, illegally, are waging full fledged war on the independent country now,” Markarova added.

Also on Sunday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that two humanitarian corridors have been agreed upon in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, according to CNBC.

That announcement comes after the United Nations human rights office announced that 1,119 civilians have been killed in the invasion, in addition to 1,790 civilian injuries since the invasion began on Feb. 24.

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