Kuleba: Zelensky would speak with Putin from offensive position
Volodymyr Zelensky would lead a tete-a-tete with Vladimir Putin from offensive positions and create a discomforting situation for his counterpart.
That’s according to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba who spoke at the Freedom of Speech panel show on the ICTV, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“The president of Ukraine is clearly aware of our red lines. If such a conversation had ever taken place, he would have led it from an offensive position, creating plenty of discomfort for President Putin in a one-on-one meeting,” the diplomacy chief is convinced.
According to the top diplomat, such a meeting would be appropriate if it contributed to achieving peace in Ukraine. The minister also noted that it would not hurt the Normandy Four format in any way.
Kuleba stressed Zelensky’s “absolute readiness” for such conversation precisely because the Ukrainian leader understands really well the tricks Moscow is capable of.
“Certainly, Russia manipulates and lies. It is cynical and it has no sentimental principles for negotiations. But there is no other Russia, and there is a war out there, and there is Russian aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, whatever Russia is, we need to speak with them,” Kuleba stressed.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, on April 20, Zelensky addressed Putin, inviting him to meet “anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbas where the war is ongoing.”
In two days, Putin said he was ready to meet with Zelensky in Moscow, but that the issue of ending the war in eastern Ukraine would be discussed only after the Ukrainian authorities held talks with the leaders of the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”, Russian-controlled and internationally-unrecognized statelets controlling parts of eastern Ukraine.
In May, Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the President’s Office, said his chief Andriy Yermak was working to set up a meeting between the Ukrainian and Russian presidents.
In June, Zelensky said in a televised interview that a “ball is on Russia’s pitch” when it comes to a possible meeting with Putin.