The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has not placed much hope on the scheduled diplomatic talks with Russia on Monday, on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River, as per CNN.
Speaking during a brief televised statement, the comedian-turned-president, said “I will say frankly, as always: I do not really believe in the result of this meeting, but let them try. So that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, did not try to stop the war when there was even a small chance”, CNN reported. He also added, “And while our guys are there, the president is here, the chief of staff is here, the prime minister is here, the army is here, the commander-in-chief is here. We will all defend our state and our borders”, as per CNN.
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The news of Zelenskyy not being part of the delegation going for peace talks was further confirmed to CNN by the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova.
She confirmed that he’d be defending Ukraine and would “definitely not” be a part of the group headed to the Belarus-Ukraine border. The envoy also told CNN that Ukraine is always ready to talk and reach a diplomatic solution. However, the country isn’t “ready to surrender”, CNN reported Markarova saying, who also added, “And we will defend our country, and we will win”.
Considering Russian President Vladimir Putin sent in his troops despite denying having any intentions to invade Russia, many have doubted the genuineness of this current olive branch by Moscow. The ambassador spoke of this, saying, “There is an ongoing, full-fledged war with war crimes conducted by Russians in Ukraine on a daily basis. So how genuine is this proposal? We don’t know”.
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Earlier, Evgeny Yenin, Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister, announced the plans to go ahead with the diplomatic talks after Moscow’s initial proposal failed with President Zelenskyy refusing to meet in Belarus due to its alliance with Russia.