International; ‘I’ve asked 27 leaders of Europe, all are afraid’: Ukraine President
New Delhi: The Ukrainian president says Kiev has been left to fend for itself as NATO is “afraid” to give it any guarantees, RT reported. “I asked them — are you with us?” Volodymyr Zelensky said. “They answered that they are with us, but they don’t want to take us into the alliance.” “I’ve asked 27 leaders of Europe, if Ukraine will be in NATO, I’ve asked them directly — all are afraid and did not respond.”
“We were left by ourselves. Who is ready to go to war for us? Honestly, I don’t see anybody. Who is ready to give Ukraine guarantees of NATO membership? Honestly, everybody is afraid,” the president added, RT reported. Accusing the West of leaving Ukraine to face Moscow alone, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday he was not afraid to negotiate an end to the Russian “invasion”, but would need security guarantees to do so. Speaking in the early hours of the morning from Kiev, Zelensky said he had reached out to “partners” in the West to tell them that Ukraine’s fate was at stake.
In an address on Friday, Zelensky said he is open to talking about the possibility of a neutral status for Ukraine, but insisted that his country needs third-party guarantees, the report said. “We are not not afraid of Russia, we are not afraid to talk with Russia, talk about everything: security guarantees for our country and a neutral status. But we are not in NATO now — what security guarantees will we have? Which countries will give them?” he said, before adding that there should be talks to bring an end to the Russian military offensive.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that “neutral status and rejection of hosting (offensive) weapons systems” are Putin’s “red lines” for Ukraine and that the ball was now in Kiev’s court.