Russia-Ukraine war: Kyiv willing to discuss neutral status, says Zelenskyy
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated in his nightly address on Sunday that Ukraine's priorities at the Ukrainian-Russian talks in Turkey will be sovereignty and territorial integrity this week.
Ukraine-Russia war entering its fifth week, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that his government was 'careful' considering a Russian negotiation of Ukrainian neutrality and was prepared to hold discussions on the same. Ukraine, Zelenskyy stated on Sunday that during an interaction with several independent Russian news organisations, was prepared to discuss adopting a neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia.
While Kremlin constantly called for Kyiv's neutrality, suggesting that this could aid end the Russian invasion, the proposal had been declined previously. Previously this month, Ukraine had stated that only Kyiv could create a system that would be acceptable to its citizens. In mid-march. Russian Foreign Minsiter Sergey Lavrov had suggested that parts of a Ukraine compromise deal were close to an agreement, adding that neutrality was being discussed.
Zelenskyy earlier stated that Ukraine would no longer insist on NATO membership. Both of these issues should be put to Ukrainian voters in a referendum after Russian troops leave the country on Sunday. He added that they are desperate for peace and want it now. There is both an opportunity and a need for a face-to-face meeting in Turkey. This isn't too bad. Let's wait and see what happens, he said.
In simple words, the neutral status would prohibit Ukraine from interfering in the military conflicts of other countries.
While any European nation has the right to apply for membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Russia has sought to discourage Ukraine from its long-stated intention of eventually joining NATO. However, member countries have stated that Ukraine's membership is a long shot at best. It should be noted that if Ukraine became a member, NATO would commit to assisting it in defending itself against any future attack.
On the other hand, Russia rejects western accusations that it is attempting to influence Ukraine, reiterating its desire for Ukraine to serve as a sort of 'buffer' state. Before this month, the Kremlin suggested that Sweden and Austria could serve as models of neutrality for Ukraine, which Kyiv rejected.