“We must not look for a way out for Russia, and Macron is doing it in vain”, regretted Mr. Zelensky Thursday evening on the Italian television channel RAI 1, according to images broadcast Friday on his Telegram channel. “I know he wanted to get results in the mediation between Russia and Ukraine, but he didn’t get any,” he said.
“Until Russia itself wants and understands that it needs (the end of the war, editor’s note), it will not seek any way out,” added the Ukrainian president.
Mr. Macron said on Monday that, to end the war waged in Ukraine by the Russian army, peace will have to be built without “humiliating” Russia. For Mr. Zelensky, however, “Macron does not need to make diplomatic concessions (to Russia) now”.
He judged this approach “not very correct” to, in his eyes, allow Mr. Putin to “save his face”, at a time when the Russians are still trying to take control of the south and the east of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian president also felt that “the time to sit around a table with Russia is over”. “It’s no longer possible,” he said.
“The President of the Republic has never discussed anything with Vladimir Putin without the agreement of President Zelensky. He has always said that it was up to the Ukrainians to decide the terms of their negotiations with the Russians”, defended himself from his side the Élysée on Friday.
After several sessions of talks between kyiv and Moscow in March, discussions have since stalled, the positions of the two parties being too far apart. “Today, the dialogue (with Moscow, editor’s note) must be pragmatic,” he added.
Volodymyr Zelensky once again repeated his desire to meet Vladimir Putin, “but only with him, without any mediator”. “And with a dialogue approach, not (by issuing) ultimatums,” he said.