Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if peace talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin fail, it will mark the beginning of “a third World War.”
While speaking with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, Zelenskyy said that he is “ready for negotiations” with Putin to try to end the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I’m ready for negotiations with him,” Zelenskyy said through a translator. “I was ready for the last two years.”
“I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war,” he added.
Zelenskyy went on to say that he would try any method of negotiation that would bring about an end to the conflict. He suggested that if it didn’t come to an end through negotiation, the conflict would lead to greater calamity.
He said, “We have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin, but if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.”
Noting that diplomatic dialogue does not always yield immediate results that please public appetites, Zelensky said, “All the people that think this dialogue is shallow, that is not going to resolve anything, they just don’t understand that this is very valuable.”
He added, “If there is just [a] one percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that.”
During the interview with Zakaria, Zelenskyy noted that the Ukrainian military is digging its heels in and fighting back against Russian forces, dealing a “powerful blow” to the invading army.
Zelenskyy also lamented the ongoing loss of life being caused by the conflict.
He said, “In any case we are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground. Russian forces have come to exterminate us, and to kill us.”
“We have demonstrated the dignity of our people and our arm that we are able to deal a powerful blow,” he continued, “We are able to strike back, but unfortunately our dignity is not going to preserve the lives.”
It is likely that the bloodshed will continue as neither side appears willing to give in to the demands of their counterparts.
Previously, Russian leadership offered to end its invasion of Ukraine if Ukraine agreed to cease military actions, change its constitution to ensure its neutrality on the geopolitical stage, recognize Crimea as Russian territory, and recognize the currently Russian-held areas of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
Zelenskyy rejected this offer.
And, as peace talks drag on, so to does the bloodshed. In recent days, the Russian military debuted a new hypersonic missile that is able to thwart sophisticated defense systems and cause devastating amounts of damage.