“I am ready to negotiate (with Vladimir Putin) for the last two years. I think we can not stop the war without negotiations,” he told the American Channel.
He underscored that the talks between kyiv and Moscow following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, were “very important.”
Turkey, which has stepped up mediation efforts between Moscow and Kiev, promised on Sunday that Russia and Ukraine had made progress in their talks.
But “I think only Putin and I can reach an agreement, regardless of the discussions between our negotiating groups,” Zhelensky said.
“If there is a 1% chance of stopping this war, we must seize it,” he said. He reassured them that “dialogue is the only way out” and that “issues related to security guarantees for Ukraine can be resolved through dialogue.”
Some compromises were rejected
But he rejected some compromises, such as recognizing separatist territories in the east of the country.
“You can not ask Ukraine to recognize the territories as independent republics,” he said.
“I can not recognize (them) first as president and then as a citizen, and thirdly, because I can not force people to love their enemies. That is impossible,” he said.
The agreement to end hostilities should state that Ukraine “will not lose its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
Opposing the Russian military’s entry into Ukraine to “destroy” the population, the Ukrainian president reiterated that “we must use all means, every opportunity to negotiate and (Vladimir) the possibility of talks with Putin.”
“But if these efforts fail, it (conflict in Ukraine) could mean a third world war,” he warned.
The day before, Mr. Zelensky, in a video already posted on social media, called for talks.
“This is the time to unite. This is the time to talk. It is time for Ukraine to restore regional unity and justice,” he said.
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