Volodymyr Zelensky: For the Ukrainian state, the issue of security should be in the first place for the next ten years
Source: Presidental website
Even if Ukraine signs the most powerful security agreement, Russia may return. Therefore, it is necessary to build a state that will be able to defend itself. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview to the Ukrainian media.
The Head of State noted that all the points on security guarantees voiced after the talks in Istanbul remain unchanged.
According to him, during the negotiation process, the Ukrainian side, along with the so-called denazification, rejected Russia's demand for demilitarization.
"We explained that the army must be in line with the army we have, which is able to defend our state. Then there are the details," the President said.
"Even if we sign the most powerful agreement, we understand that in two years Russia may return. And if you and I accept this, then we act accordingly," the President said.
In view of this, Ukraine will build a state that will be able to defend itself, as the Ukrainian side openly states at the talks.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his conviction that Ukraine cannot fight constantly while other countries develop. That is why our state needs concrete security guarantees.
According to the President, everything depends on the guarantor countries, which must ensure the implementation of certain points.
"All this is being discussed at the level of advisers and leaders with France, the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Israel, and there are many friends who want to join. So far, we have not received a specific list of guarantees and a list of countries that are ready to join us 100%," the President said.
"We do not need to have 40 countries of the world that are ready to join and fight for Ukraine under the agreement. We need serious players who are ready for anything. We need a circle of states that are ready to provide any weapons within 24 hours. We need individual countries on which sanctions policy really depends, so that these sanctions are deeply elaborated in advance. So that in the first second when we feel the threat from the Russian Federation, these states will unite and within three days introduce everything at once, block everything," Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained.
According to him, representatives of some countries have already expressed a desire to become guarantors of security, but no joint meeting has taken place yet.
"They said they were ready to meet and talk about it. But I would like to emphasize once again that this meeting has not yet taken place in Ukraine. We are waiting for it. If this happens, there will be an understanding that we have certain security guarantees that provide for non-alignment," the President said.
"So far, all of these guarantors are positive about Ukraine. But this is not enough. We already had such agreements and "papers",” he added.
As for joining NATO, according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine is ready to join the Alliance "already tomorrow", even if Russia opposes it.
"If we are offered to join NATO tomorrow, if they don’t play with our lives again, but seriously offer, we will join. But this will not happen, unfortunately, and did not happen. That is why we will build those security guarantees that can protect us, protect people's lives. We can protect ourselves anyway - we already understand that. But protecting all people is a more difficult task," he said.
The President said that he would consider the preservation of Ukraine's sovereignty to be the first victory in this war.
"Second, I really want us not to lose hundreds of thousands of people. Third, there can be no discussion that we will allow someone to call Crimea someone's territory. This is our territory, Ukrainian territory. Postponing this issue is a compromise. And Donbas for me is Ukraine. And the fact that Russia has recognized ORDLO as something - we must find a way out of this situation. We, as Ukraine. Preserving the status of these territories as Ukrainian is very important for us," the Head of State said.
In his opinion, the withdrawal of Russian troops to the positions of February 23, 2022 will be a victory.
"I understand where we are, who we are, what kind of country we are, what we have lost, what we can lose and what we have saved. I believe that repelling the full-scale war to the point where it began on February 24, 2022 is definitely a victory for us," said the President.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is convinced that after the end of this war, the issue of security should be number one in Ukraine.
"I think all our people will be our great army. We cannot talk about "Switzerland of the future" - probably, our state will be able to be like this a long time after. But we will definitely become a "big Israel" with its own face. We will not be surprised that we will have representatives of the Armed Forces or the National Guard in all institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons. I am sure that our security issue will be number one in the next ten years," the President said.