Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not let up on his criticism of NATO and told 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday that he is “no longer interested” in the military alliance’s diplomacy.
“When you’re working in diplomacy, there are no results. All of this is very bureaucratic,” Zelensky said when asked about recent harsh comments about NATO. “That’s why the way I am talking to them is absolutely justified. I don’t have any more lives to give. I don’t have any more emotions. I’m no longer interested in their diplomacy that leads to the destruction of my country.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Zelensky has been pleading with the US and NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which would mean the Western powers entering a direct conflict with Russia. For not going to war with Russia, Zelensky has slammed NATO as being “weak” and “afraid” of Moscow.
Discussing negotiations with Russia, Zelensky said he would never recognize Crimea as Russian territory even though the peninsula has been under Russian control since 2014. As part of a potential peace deal, Moscow also wants Kyiv to recognize the independence of the breakaway Donbas republics of Donestk and Luhansk.
When asked if he was willing to give up any Ukrainian territory for peace, Zelensky said, “Overall we are not ready to give away our country. I think we have already given up a lot of [lives]. So, we need to stand firm for as long as we can. But this is life. Different things happen.”
“We understand one of their provisions that is always talked about is to recognize Crimea as Russian territory. I will definitely not recognize that,” he added.
The Ukrainian leader said that his country hadn’t been willing to cede territory from the beginning. “Had we been willing to give up our territory, there would have been no war,” Zelensky said.