10:09 22.03.2019

Zelensky doesn't exclude bilateral talks with Moscow on Donbas, Ukraine's entry into NATO through referendum

3 min read
Zelensky doesn't exclude bilateral talks with Moscow on Donbas, Ukraine's entry into NATO through referendum

Presidential candidate of Ukraine, showman Volodymyr Zelensky allows for bilateral negotiations with Moscow to end hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

"I would like to do everything to stop shooting in the east of Ukraine, so that our people won't die anymore. (...) We must carry out the offensive on the diplomatic front, and not wait for it to be done for us. We need to negotiate. We need to resume meetings in the Normandy format and involve the United States and the United Kingdom in multilateral negotiations. If we recognize it necessary, together with our allies and partners, then it may be necessary to conduct bilateral negotiations with Russia," Zelensky told the Novoye Vremia magazine, responding to questions of the edition in the framework of the project "The Moment of Truth."

According to him, Ukraine needs "strong diplomacy, economic growth, a strong army and an active information policy" to be able to win. At the same time, the main principle should be preserved: "no one has the right to decide something regarding Ukraine without Ukrai ne's participation."

"And there can be no concessions in matters of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the same time, we need to advance with Ukrainian initiatives to end the hostilities, de-occupy Donbas and return Crimea. In fact, there have been no Ukraine initiatives since the Minsk agreements. Political will is needed," the candidate voiced his vision.

Zelensky called a strong economy another pledge of peace: "We must attract investments from all over the world to Ukraine. If enterprises with foreign capital work in our country, this is the best guarantee against any war."

He also focused on making a powerful army.

"Integration into NATO is primarily a way of reforming the army and ensuring Ukraine's sovereignty. I believe that NATO membership should take place only through an all-Ukrainian referendum. But the army needs to switch to NATO standards, learn from NATO specialists. Salaries of soldiers and social protection should be at the level of NATO armies," said Zelensky.

In addition to solving the conflict in Donbas, he called two more of his priorities as president: the fight against corruption - "the main internal enemy of Ukraine" - and the roads. "I really want Ukraine to finally have normal roads with cement concrete pavement. We, with the Kvartal, are constantly touring the country in all regions. I know about the condition of Ukrainian roads not from the news," the presidential candidate emphasized.

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