Zelensky speaks in favor of settling Ukraine-Russia conflict in diplomatic way
KYIV. April 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he would wish to follow a diplomatic path to resolve the military standoff between Ukraine and Russia.
"I want to stop the war and put an end to it. There is a diplomatic path and a military one. Any healthy person always chooses a diplomatic path because they know that, even if it's difficult, it could prevent the loss of thousands or tens of thousands" lives, Zelensky said at a press conference in Kyiv on Saturday.
"And any leader, whether he wants it personally or not, has no right to reject a diplomatic path subjectively," he said.
"The most relevant issues [in talks with Russia] are security guarantees and neutrality, as well as the fate of Donbas and Crimea. I believe no other issues exist," Zelensky said.
He warned that Ukraine might withdraw from the negotiating process, in particular, if "a pseudo-referendum on setting up a so-called KhPR [Kherson People's Republic] and other pseudo-republics" is arranged.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said in commenting on this remark on Monday that Moscow is unaware of any preparations for a referendum in Kherson.
"I haven't heard anything," Rudenko said when asked by journalists on Monday to comment on media reports that Russian authorities are preparing a referendum in Kherson.