Ukraine Ready to Discuss Neutrality as Russian Forces Close In on Kiev

Ukraine Ready to Discuss Neutrality as Russian Forces Close In on Kiev

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Blaming the West for leaving Ukraine to face Moscow alone, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday he was not afraid to negotiate an end to the Russian operation, but would need security guarantees to do so.

Speaking in the early hours of morning from Kiev, Zelensky said he had reached out to “partners” in the West to tell them that Ukraine’s fate was at stake.

“I asked them – are you with us?” 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.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Thursday, with President Vladimir Putin declaring a special military operation to “demilitarize and denazify” the country. Moscow has since told Kiev that it would consider negotiating with the Zelensky government if it agrees to discuss neutral status for the country, among other things.

The sound of gunfire has echoed through Ukraine's capital on Friday, as Russian tanks were filmed entering Kiev for the first time.

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has called on those living in Kiev's northern outskirts - where the tanks were filmed - to make fire bombs "to neutralize the enemy".

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will only be ready to hold talks with Kiev once Ukraine’s military has laid down its arms.

Lavrov also said that Russia wants the Ukrainian people to be independent and have the possibility to freely define their destiny, but warned the Kremlin did not want “neo-Nazis” to govern Russia’s neighbor.

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