"Ukraine is most interested in peace because the war is on our territory. But there must be a two-way movement on the path towards peace, and key steps must be taken by Russia which controls the occupied territories of Ukraine. We would like to see Moscow’s greater desire to speed up the achievement of peace," Zelensky said in an interview with the Hospodárske noviny Slovak economic media outlet.
Zelensky noted that Ukraine has "difficult relations" with Russia and recalls that the war in Donbas has been going on for seven years. Russia has annexed Ukrainian Crimea, while historically there have been many economic and human contacts between the two countries, he said.
“The war in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 14,000 lives, crippled tens of thousands of lives, destroyed families, and deprived millions of people of their home. To talk about normalization is to stamp complex processes. In this case, it is a process of negotiations to achieve peace,” Zelensky believes.
He also said that he has different formats of communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin - the Normandy four-party format and the bilateral format.
“Communication with the President of Russia is limited but substantive. Being a perfectionist, I would like our dialogue to be more efficient,” the President of Ukraine added.
As Zelensky noted, the war is ongoing on 3% of Ukrainian territory, and Ukraine still needs the support of the West as the war in Donbas destabilizes the situation across the continent.
"All wars end someday. The question is how long they last, how many lives they claim, how much suffering they bring. We are 100% sure that the Ukrainian cities - Donetsk and Luhansk - are our cities, and our people live there, as well as in Crimea, by the way. And if the external intervention had not happened, Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea would normally live in our unified state system,” Zelensky is convinced.
As reported, President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to make a state visit to Slovakia on September 24.
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