Zelensky: No withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine borders following Biden-Putin summit

Zelensky: No withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine borders following Biden-Putin summit

There has been no decrease in the number of Russian troops deployed near the border with Ukraine since the latest talks between the U.S. and Russian presidents.

That’s according to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine who spoke in an interview with Italy's La Repubblica, translated into Ukrainian and posted by the president’s press service, Ukrinform reports.

"After the American and Russian leaders held talks, there has been no reduction of the military grouping near our borders. Moreover, another space for escalation emerged, which is the Sea of ​​Azov, where Russia has blocked 70% of the water area," said Zelensky.

At the same time, the head of state assured, Ukraine is ready to protect its land and its people from any encroachments, under any circumstances.

Read also: Putin won’t stop on Ukraine as he aims for Europe - Reznikov

"Ukrainians will never give up their freedom. Meanwhile, Moscow may as well open a museum of various accusations. Undoubtedly, we’re grateful for the support, but collective efforts are not enough to get the Russian side back not only to the predictable policy, which would be based on respect for international law and neighboring countries, but also to meaningful negotiations toward achieving peace in the east of Ukraine," the Ukrainian president emphasized.

He stressed the fact that Ukraine doesn’t do saber-rattling, deploy troops near someone’s borders, or take coercive steps targeting its territories that are now temporarily occupied, while d constantly insisting on intensifying diplomatic work.

"Ukraine is ready to make all necessary efforts to make peace fair and lasting. This interview will turn into a thick book if I start listing all the proposals and efforts to intensify our talks that the Russian side has received from us throughout the war period. But it will only take a small paragraph to convey Russia's responses as they all boil down to their unwillingness to recognize themselves as a party to this war. Their role at the negotiating table is to insist that we talk to separatists in Donbas. But who are these separatists? In the occupied territories, everything is run by Russian officers and Russian government officials," Zelensky stressed.

Read also: Ukraine working with allies on ways to deter Russia - Kuleba

As reported earlier, on November 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke over the phone.

Earlier, on December 7, the American leader held a virtual summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.


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