Truce with Russia without return of territories will only protract conflict, Zelensky says


NEW YORK. A truce between Ukraine and Russia without the return of territories will only give Russia a time to rest and further continue the conflict, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal which came out on Friday.

“Freezing the conflict with the Russian Federation means a pause that gives the Russian Federation a break for rest. They will not use this pause to change their geopolitics or to renounce their claims on the former Soviet republics,” The Wall Street Journal quoted him as saying.

According to Zelensky, following such a pause, in two or three years, Russia “will seize two more regions and say again: Freeze the conflict.” “And it will keep going further and further. One hundred percent,” he added.

The Russian-Ukrainian talks have been conducted since February 28. Several meetings were organized in Belarus, then the sides continued negotiations in the videoconference format. The next offline round of talks took place in Istanbul on March 29. However, on April 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists that Kiev had deviated from the previous agreements and drove the process into a dead end. On April 20, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow had handed over to Kiev a clearly-worded draft document on agreements and was waiting for a response. / TASS