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Zelenskyy: Negotiations with Russia Should Discuss Ukraine's Territorial Recovery

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained that he was open to talks with Russia. But, he noted, such a process should review the reconditioning of his country's territorial credibility, as to the punishment of those responsible for war crimes.

Zelenskyy said this before giving a speech for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. "Anyone who is serious about the weather schedule should also be serious about the importance of stopping the Russian invasion, restoring our territorial credibility, and forcing Russia to true peace talks," Zelenskyy said, Tuesday (8/11/2022).

Read more: COP27: Climate Change Losses, Whose Responsibility?

He claimed that Ukraine had repeatedly suggested such talks or talks with Russia. "But we always receive a response from Russia with the onslaught of new terrorists, shootings or extortion," he said.

"One more time, reconditioning territorial credibility, respect for the UN Charter, compensation for all the damage caused by war, penalties for any war criminals and collateral if this cannot happen again. All of these things are really understandable requirements," Zelenskyy added.

Zelenskyy had initially made it clear that his administration had no negotiations with Russia, particularly as long as Moscow was held by Vladimir Putin. Ukrainian officials have already repeated that status or stance on several occasions.

Zelenskyy's adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, even made clear that status in an inter-review with Italy's mass media, La Repubblica, which was circulated on Tuesday. "Transacting with Putin means surrendering, and we never gave him this gift," Podolyak said during the review.

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According to him, Russia demanded that Ukraine give its territory as a requirement for talks. Podolyak made it clear, his country could not accept that. "Residents have never accepted this. The Russian army will leave the Ukrainian area, and discussions will come," he said.

On Monday (7/11/2022), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated Russia's status if his country is open to talks with Ukraine. But Peskov accused Kiev of dismissing the suggestion or idea. Moscow has repeatedly made it clear it is not talking about the status of the area it has annexed from Ukraine.

On September 30, Vladimir Putin assigned the joining of four regions of Ukraine, namely Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, to Russia. The four areas originally existed under Russian citizenry. On September 23 to 27, the 4 regions held a referendum to join Russia. Moscow claimed that about 98 percent of voters in the referendum agreed to join.

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Ukraine and its Western allies dismissed the referendum result. They viewed the referendum as already laid out in such a way as the result by Moscow. Despite being rebuffed and resisted, Russia still continued its idea of "seizing" the 4 areas. Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as representatives of 15 % of the area of Ukraine. When combined, the area is the same as the area of Portugal.

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