Fox News reported this week that Russian troops have been repositioning themselves in northern Ukraine, leading some observers to hope for a possible peace settlement.
However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made clear during an interview with the network that hostilities won’t end until his country achieves victory.
“We do not trade our territory”
“A victory of truth means a victory for Ukraine and Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy told host Brett Baier through an interpreter on Friday.
“The question is when it will end. That is a deep question. It’s a painful question. Besides victory, the Ukrainian people will not accept any outcome,” he insisted.
Zelenskyy also dismissed any suggestion that he would be willing to cede land to Russia, declaring, “We do not trade our territory. The question of territorial integrity and sovereignty is out of discussion.”
The Ukrainian president was somewhat less adamant when it came to prospects of his country joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), something that Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced loud objections over.
“It’s hard for us to talk about NATO because NATO doesn’t want to admit us,” Zelenskyy said. Still, he called opposition to Ukrainian membership “a mistake because if we join NATO, we make NATO much stronger.”
“We are not a weak state,” Zelenskyy continued. “We are not proposing to make us stronger at the expense of NATO…We are an addition, we are the locomotive. I think we are one of the important components of the European continent.”
Zelenskyy refuses to discuss the attack on a Russian oil facility
Zelenskyy was reluctant to discuss a recent attack on an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod that Ukrainian forces are said to have carried out.
“I’m sorry I do not discuss any of my orders as commander in chief,” Zelenskyy told Baier. “The leader of this state. There are things which I only share with military armed forces of Ukraine and when they talk with me.”
“What matters for us is that you and the whole world should know that we are a country at war,” Zelenskyy continued. “We were attacked. That is what matters.”
“That is the biggest tragedy. And today, to hear those reports about something happening someplace something exploded while there is war in Ukraine – honestly it’s not professional to talk about it.”