President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said he was ready to talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, but in case of failure, there are risks of starting a third world war. He spoke about this in an interview with CNN, published on March 20.
“I am ready to negotiate with him. I have been ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we will not be able to end this war,” he said.
Zelensky said he would use any format and chance to talk to Putin.
“But if these attempts fail, it will mean that this is a third world war,” the Ukrainian leader stressed.
Zelensky added that Ukraine under no circumstances can compromise its territorial integrity.
On March 18, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that it would be possible to talk about a meeting between Putin and Zelensky only when the Russian Federation and Ukraine prepare and approve a peace treaty.
At the same time, the press secretary of the Russian leader, Dmitry Peskov, pointed out that the course of the agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine would depend on the modality of the document to be agreed.
On March 16, Peskov said that Putin should meet with Zelensky not to discuss, but to fix the agreements reached.
On March 11, Peskov noted that the possibility of holding a meeting of the leaders of the countries was not ruled out. However, he clarified that delegations and ministers must first do their part so that the presidents meet for the result, not for the sake of the process.
In mid-February, due to the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian military, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of the civilian population to the Russian Federation and asked for recognition of independence.
On February 21, Putin signed a corresponding decree. On February 24, Russia launched a special operation to protect the civilian population of Donbass. As Peskov clarified, the special operation has two goals – the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. According to him, both of these aspects pose a threat to the Russian state and people.