‘There is nobody to talk to there’ – Zelensky says he will not negotiate with Putin
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has said he will not negotiate with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
On Friday, February 24, one year since the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy was questioned by a reporter whether he would accept negotiations mediated by Recep Erdogan in case Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived at the table. Zelenskyy replied, “I don’t accept it.”
“Erdogan knows my view,” Zelensky said. “We discussed this before the war. I told him to put Putin at the table for negotiations. ‘Can we please do that? We must avert a full-scale war.’ But [Erdogan] was not able to do that. Not only him — he is powerful — but he is not able to do it. And now he thinks that he is? Now we can’t,” Zelensky said Friday.
Explaining why he can’t speak to Putin, Zelensky added;
“It is not the same man. There is nobody to talk to there,” he said.
When asked if NATO countries should increase their defense spending given the war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s invasion has forced the world and NATO countries to rethink their security systems.
“A lot of countries in the world (have) started increasing their defense budgets,” he told reporters on Friday. “The war in Ukraine has pushed the reset button on NATO.”
When thinking of defense spending, Zelensky said it’s about more than just ammunition and weapons, and pointed to drones, IT, information sharing, and defense against cyber attacks.
“There is a lot of state-of-the-art technology, and it is not universally effective. Of course, some people may be increasing spending. But on the whole, this is also a reform of security systems. I believe that this is right. Because everybody has seen what you can expect of the Russian Federation,” he said at a news conference to mark one year of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.