13 May 2022 14:31

Ukraine will never recognize Crimea as part of Russia, DPR, LPR as autonomous republics - Zelensky

KYIV. May 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Ukraine will not recognize Crimea as part of Russia, nor will it recognize the autonomy of the Donbas republics, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

"We will never recognize Crimea as part of Russia. We stand ready to talk to Russia and say that it's not the right time now for decisions on Crimea," Zelensky said in an interview with the Italian TV company RAI 1 on Friday.

"War is going on, and it's a time for human lives. Let's put this matter off if it's sensitive and if it complicates the process of negotiations and the process of a meeting between the Ukrainian and Russian presidents," Zelensky said.

"Our delegation in Turkey proposed putting it off, but not forever. We proposed that our states should settle the issue of Crimea within ten years. We haven't heard a response to this question," he said.

Nor will Ukraine recognize the autonomy of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Zelensky said.

Russia "has recognized them as separate republics that are not part of Ukraine. They've separated them," Zelensky said when asked whether Kyiv might possibly recognize the Donbas republics.

"We will never recognize their autonomy," he said.