This is a pretty big deal, as the NATO membership was one of the reasons why Russia started the war in the first place.
Here’s what Zelenskyy said, and what this means for the war.
Russia Demanded Ukraine To Never Be Allowed To Join NATO; Zelenskyy No Longer Pressing for Membership
Putin is pretty scared of NATO. If you want to know why, you can read 6 Facts About NATO & Why Putin Felt So Threatened By It.
Alternatively, you can watch a super-simplified explanation by our cute office cat here:
But the main point is that NATO threatens Putin militarily and politically, so he doesn’t want his neighbour Ukraine to be allied with them.
In fact, he didn’t want it so much that he demanded Ukraine to never be able to join NATO. NATO didn’t agree, which was one of the reasons why Putin went ahead with the invasion.
In an attempt to calm the angry Russian bear, Ukraine President Zelenskyy has announced he isn’t going to press for NATO membership.
In an interview with ABC News, Zelenskyy said, “I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that … NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine… The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia.”
He also added that he does not want to be president of a country that s begging for something on its knees.
This is a really big deal, as it directly solves one of the reasons for war. It also goes against the many requests from pro-West Ukraine to join NATO, so you can tell that Zelenskyy really doesn’t want this war to continue.
But that’s not all.
Open to Dialogue on the Independence of Donetsk and Luhansk
Before Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, he recognised two separatist pro-Russian areas in eastern Ukraine as independent republics.
Donetsk and Luhansk have been at war with the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, since 2014. They have sought to break away from Ukraine and be independent states.
Given how these two areas are pro-Russian, it’s no surprise Putin had recognised them as sovereign and independent. But the issue is that Putin wants Ukraine to also officially recognise them as such.
When asked about this demand from Putin, Zelenskyy said that those two regions have not been recognised by anyone but Russia. He labelled them “pseudo republics”.
Zelenskyy also added that it’s important to acknowledge that there are people living in Donetsk and Luhansk who want to be part of Ukraine. This makes the issue a lot more difficult than simply acknowledging their independence.
He pointed out that this is yet another ultimatum, and they are “not prepared for ultimatums”.
“What needs to be done is for President Putin to start talking, start the dialogue instead of living in the informational bubble without oxygen.”
However, he said that he’s open to dialogue, and finding a compromise on how those territories will continue to live.
Zelenskyy has already taken a step towards peace. Will Putin accept the olive branch offered, or continue to fight for his way?
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