Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, late on Monday said he is prepared to discuss a commitment from Ukraine not to seek the membership of NATO, in exchange for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a guarantee of Ukraine’s security, according to Al Jazeera report.
“It’s a compromise for everyone: for the West, which doesn’t know what to do with us with regard to NATO, for Ukraine, which wants security guarantees, and for Russia, which doesn’t want further NATO expansion,” Mr Zelenskyy said in an interview with Ukrainian television channels.
Zelenskyy also said he was ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the eastern Donbas region held by Russian-backed separatists after a ceasefire and steps towards providing security guarantees.
While calling for a meeting with President Putin of Russia, Mr Zelenskyy stated: “I think that, without this meeting, it is impossible to fully understand what they [the Russians] are willing to do to stop the war.”
Mr Zelenskyy last week told Ukrainians to appreciate that it may not become a member of the US-led NATO military alliance which is a key Russian concern that it used to justify its invasion.
“Ukraine is not a member of NATO… We have heard for years that the doors were open, but we also heard that we could not join. It’s a truth and it must be recognised,” he said.
“I am glad that our people are beginning to understand this and rely on themselves and the partners who are helping us.”