Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russia to halt its bombing strike on Ukrainian cities before any significant talks on a ceasefire could begin, as the first shot of negotiations this week had not reached a significant development.
Zelensky has called on NATO allies to implement a no-fly zone, asking the organization for assistance in preventing Russia from flying aircraft over his country, stating this would be a preventive course of action and not aimed to haul the alliance into war with Russia.
The Ukrainian leader has refused to leave the country as Russian forces move in, but he said that if NATO banned Ukraine from joining the alliance, they would request legally binding assurance.
“It’s necessary to at least stop bombing people, just stop the bombing and then sit down at the negotiating table,” Zelensky said, putting out his terms for further negotiations with Russia in an interview.
News broke of Russian rockets hitting a TV tower close to the Holocaust memorial site in Ukraine’s capital city as he was speaking. It led to approximately five people being killed as missiles exploded all over Kharkiv.
NATO allies have offered weapons to Ukraine to aid them as Russian forces attacked last Thursday. Meanwhile, the West and its allies placed a series of economic sanctions against Russia.
However, Zelensky has urged the international countries to do more, including implementing a no-fly zone.
Zelensky said, “This is not about dragging NATO countries into war. The truth is everyone has long since been dragged into war and definitely not by Ukraine, but by Russia – a large-scale war is going on.”
He continued that US counterpart Joe Biden had directly told him that now was not the moment to propose such a course of action.
Ukraine has urged NATO to approve its entry, an action strongly disagreed by Russia and considered one of the reasons why Moscow waged war.
“Our partners, if they are not ready to take Ukraine into NATO … because Russia does not want Ukraine to be in NATO, should work out common security guarantees for Ukraine,” said Zelensky.
“This means that we have our territorial integrity, that our borders are protected, we have special relations with all our neighbors, we are completely safe, and the guarantors that give us security, they guarantee this legally.”