In a new video message, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has now very clearly agreed to a proposal made by the Russian government three weeks ago: Ukraine could have a neutral status in the future – like Austria’s example.
That should be the most important point in the peace talks with Turkish mediation that are taking place again today.
Speaking to Russian media, which are banned from broadcasting this speech, Zelenskyy emphasized that this offer of neutrality would have to be guaranteed by a third party – and would need approval in a referendum.
Zelenskyy also reported that the Russian invasion had caused massive damage to many cities with Russian-speaking majority populations – “worse than in the war in Chechnya”.
Zelenskyi literally in the latest video: “We want security guarantees and neutrality as well as a nuclear-weapon-free status for our nation.” For this deal, only a ceasefire and a troop withdrawal by the Russian side would have to be the basis.
The Ukrainian President also warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol: “All accesses to Mariupol are closed, the port is mined. It is impossible to bring food, water and medicine into the city.”
Today, Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to call Vladimir Putin and present him with the new Ukrainian proposals.