'Say openly you're scared of Russia': Zelenskyy to NATO
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has taken a dig at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), claiming that it is "scared" of Russia. "NATO should either say now that they're accepting us or openly say that they are not accepting us as they are scared of Russia, which is true," Zelenskyy reportedly said in an interview with Suspilne, a Ukrainian public broadcaster.
- The war between Russia and Ukraine entered the 27th day on Tuesday, with the latter suffering serious damages.
- Ukraine's ambition to join NATO is one of the key reasons for Russia's invasion of the country, which began on February 24.
- Notably, in recent days, Zelenskyy seems to have accepted that his country will not be a part of the US-led military alliance.
Earlier this month, the Ukrainian President had said that NATO is afraid of confrontation with Russia. "I have cooled down on this question (joining NATO) a long time ago after realizing that it is not prepared to accept Ukraine. The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia," he had said during an interview with ABC News.
In his interview with Suspilne, Zelenskyy added he's ready for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I am ready for negotiations... I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war. If there's just one percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance," Zelenskyy said.
Speaking about Ukraine's rejection of Russia's "ultimatum" to surrender the besieged city of Mariupol, Zelenskyy said, "We can't accept an ultimatum from Russia. How can we? After our people were killed...it's simply possible."
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army has claimed that it forced Russian forces out of Makariv, a suburb of capital Kyiv, after a fierce battle. This prevents Russia's forces from surrounding the capital from the northwest, said the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Thousands of people have been killed in Ukraine, while the Russian invasion displaced over 10 million, including 3.5 million who have fled the country.