Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Ukraine Russia War

Ukraine-Russia: Zelensky may have just blinked in the war of nerves with Putin

On Tuesday, Zelensky went a step closer to Moscow's demands when he ruled out Ukraine joining NATO

Wednesday March 16, 2022 1:05 PM, Atul Aneja, IANS

Zelensky Putin Meet

New Delhi: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may have just blinked in the war of nerves with Russian President Vladimir Putin, giving Moscow a decisive edge in achieving its strategic goals that were set at the onset of its war with Kiev.

Responding to Russia's demand that Ukraine should remain neutral, Zelenskyy has said he was willing to discuss security guarantees from Moscow to end the war, but after holding direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Our delegates (at the negotiations) have a clear task - to do all they can so the meeting between presidents takes place, the meeting I'm sure the people are waiting for," Zelenskyy had said on Sunday in a video address posted on the president's official Telegram channel.

Russian and Ukrainian officials have been holding regular talks in Belarus.

Zelenskyy's remarks on seeking security guarantees aligned with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov assertion last week after his meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, at Antalya in Turkey that Moscow was willing to discuss security guarantees to Ukraine, Europe and Russia itself in the negotiations that were anticipated to end the war.


On Tuesday, Zelenskyy went a step closer to Moscow's demands when he ruled out Ukraine joining NATO.

"It's clear that Ukraine is not a member of NATO. We understand this. We are reasonable people. For years we were told about supposedly 'open doors', but have also now heard that we cannot enter. This is the truth and this needs to be admitted," Zelenskyy said, speaking at a meeting of the leaders of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force on Tuesday.

By declaring that joining NATO was not on its radar, Zelenskyy appeared to be inching closer to meeting the second Russian condition -- of adopting a position of "neutrality" by shunning membership of any anti-Russian military alliance.

Regarding the nature of security guarantees, Zelenskyy asserted that these could no longer be anchored to earlier declarations that had failed in protecting Kiev.

For instance, the Ukrainian President stressed that the goal of his dialogue with his Russian counterpart was to obtain "effective" security guarantees, "not like in Budapest or like on our skies".

Zelenskyy was referring to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances under which it agreed to give up its nuclear weapons inherited from the collapsed Soviet Union, sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapons state.

In return, it had received security guarantees. Russia, the US, and UK, were signatories of the Memorandum that had been signed with Ukraine.

Zelenskyy said that guarantees should be such that Ukraine would not have any hesitation in saying, "this works, these are the guarantees."

In the midst of diplomacy Russia, on its part, has stated that it wants to revisit NATO's Bucharest declaration of 2008, made at the Romanian capital, which had opened the door for Georgia and Ukraine's possible membership of the western military alliance.

Russia, which has opposed NATO's eastern expansion, was already uncomfortable with the inclusion of membership of three ex-Soviet Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, located on Russia's doorstep as members of the western security alliance. For Moscow, further expansion of NATO to include Ukraine and Georgia was an unambiguous red line, violating which would involve the use of force.

"Western countries should refrain from establishing military facilities on the territory of former USSR states that are not members of the alliance, including the use of their infrastructure for conducting any military activity," Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had told the Conference on Disarmament earlier this month.

Significantly, Lavrov implied that the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which have already joined NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but were part of the USSR after World War II, are not on Moscow's military radar.

"NATO must follow the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997 which froze the grouping's military capabilities, including strike [capabilities], and NATO infrastructure to that year, Lavrov had observed.


For all the latest News, Opinions and Views, download ummid.com App.

Select Language To Read in Urdu, Hindi, Marathi or Arabic.

Google News

Share this page

 Post Comments
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com