Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, has said that if Russia wants a "diplomatic direction" in settlement of the war in Ukraine, it should withdraw its troops from the occupied territories without waiting for Ukraine to liberate them by force.
Source: Zelenskyy in an interview with Latin American media
Quote: "If Russia wants [to take] a diplomatic direction, they should get out before we have a lot of people killed, and we push them out by force. I think that's a big difference. Yes, the result is the same, on the one hand. [But] I don't think so. I believe that we are liberating our territories. And it is very important for me how – to lose people or to reduce losses. And then, again, it depends on whether we are ready for any dialogue."
Details: Zelenskyy emphasised that whether Ukraine de-occupies its territory by military means or not depends only on Russia.
Quote: "Today, our partners see this. And even those sceptical countries, for example, Germany, Chancellor Scholz, openly says: "I believe that there is nothing to talk about with Russia until it leaves the [Ukrainian] territory." Pay attention, not until Ukraine liberates [it], but until Russia leaves, because that makes sense to me. If you want to talk to me and the civilised world, you should not wait for them to knock you out by force. And they will. Because [by] knocking [them] out by force and [using] the army, we lose people. Time is not an issue – let it be, we do not get tired for the sake of victory. If we knock them out by force, then when we push them out of our territory, what should they talk to us about? What is the point of talking?
I think that then, Russia will look for other leaders who will be able to find an approach to the entire civilised world, to find an opportunity for some people to sit down with them to talk about something, because after what they have done, no one is ready to have a dialogue with them. [Again, that's] if we knock [them] out with force, that's why there's such a big difference."
More details: Zelenskyy expressed confidence that "any other leadership of the Russian Federation will look for a way out of this situation" and even Russian society "already understands that the issue of their internal explosion is a matter of time."
The President called the statement of the Russian leadership that if Russia loses this war, there will be no war, a substitution of facts and concepts.
"If we fight to the end and push them out by force, they will definitely not be in the form in which they are now. Because they will experience a social explosion, and they will lose the state, and respect, and a place at the diplomatic table, and the army, [they'll] lose everything. There will be more than one revolution within them. Because the [Russian] territory is large, and different people, different nations live there. That's why there will be a lot of things [happening]," Zelenskyy said.
According to him, there is no easy way out for the leadership of the Russian Federation today because they are murderers.
"But with the least tangible losses, they can find a diplomatic way out of the situation. This means to start leaving our territory without bullets, explosions, or missiles," he said.
Previously: Russian Presidential Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has said that Vladimir Putin was open to proposals that would enable the Russian Federation to achieve its goals by means other than the war against Ukraine.