Ukraine says ready for talks with Russia to achieve peace

Kiev: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country stands ready for talks with Russia to establish peace amid the ongoing border crisis between the two nations.

“I am ready for any format (of talks),” Zelensky told reporters on THursday during his visit to the frontline city of Mariupol in the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine.

He noted that Ukraine supports the initiatives of other countries that offer assistance in organising a meeting with the Russian side, reports Xinhua news agency.

While commenting on the prospects of Ukraine’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has been one of the main concerns of Russia, Zelensky said that not all NATO members support Ukraine’s accession.

At the same time, the Ukrainian leader emphasized that the possibility of putting the NATO issue to a referendum is not being considered.

Currently, the goal of NATO membership is enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution.

Since November 2021, Kiev and some Western countries have accused Russia of assembling heavy troops near the Ukrainian border with a possible intention of “invasion”.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusation, stressing its right to mobilise troops within its borders to defend its territory as the NATO activities constitute a threat to Russia’s border security.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was working to host Ukrainian and Russian leaders as part of efforts to calm down the tension in the region.

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