Referendum on neutral status possible only when Russian troops withdrawn – President of Ukraine

Referendum on neutral status possible only when Russian troops withdrawn – President of Ukraine

Ukrinform
A referendum on Ukraine’s neutral status can be held only when Russian troops are withdrawn, and it will be faster than making amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine.

The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with the Russian media, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“Security guarantees and neutrality, the nuclear-free status of our state – we are ready to go for it. It is the most important clause… And a referendum must be held in Ukraine. Why? Because we have the law on referendum, we have endorsed it… Security guarantees provide for amendments to the Constitution… These are two sessions,” Zelensky told.

In his word, holding a referendum will be faster than making amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. And only the Ukrainian people can make a decision on the neutral status and specific guarantees.

“The referendum can be held within several months, while making amendments to the Constitution will require at least one year according to the current legislation,” Zelensky added.

Meanwhile, according to Zelensky, it is impossible to hold a referendum, as long as Russian troops are staying within the territory of Ukraine.

“Considering the Convention, no one will ever recognize the referendum results if there are troops or armed illegal formations or legitimate formations of another state within the country’s territory without any legal basis. It is impossible. This is what happened in Crimea. What is this referendum?” Zelensky noted.

In his words, guarantors will not sign anything, as long as Russian troops are staying within the territory of Ukraine. Zelensky believes there must be an agreement reached with Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw Russian troops. For this purpose, they need to meet “in any part of the world, except Belarus, Russia and Ukraine”.

“We meet, reach an agreement, and it will be enough – our agreement signed, sealed, even with blood. It will be enough to start the withdrawal of troops. Troops must be withdrawn, guarantors will sign everything, and we are done. All of this will continue to work. After that, ratification procedures in Parliaments, holding a referendum within several months, and amendments to the Constitution,” Zelensky explained.

A reminder that, on February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting a war. Russian troops are shelling and destroying the key infrastructure facilities, launching missile and air strikes on Ukrainian cities and villages, killing civilians.

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

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