kyiv (dpa) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants all agreements reached in negotiations with Russia to be decided by national referendum. The head of state announced it on television.
The final form of the compromises with Russia on security guarantees and on the occupied areas of Ukraine must be approved in a referendum. Both parties to the conflict are currently negotiating with each other. However, there are no concrete agreements yet.
No ultimatum from Russia
“I told all the negotiating groups: if you talk about all the changes, even if they are historic, we are not going anywhere. We will proceed to a referendum,” Zelenskyj said. The people must have a say in “this or that form” of compromise. At the same time, Zelenskyi fundamentally rejected Russia’s ultimatums. “Ukraine cannot meet the Russian Federation’s ultimatums,” he said. “You have to destroy us all. Then your ultimatum will automatically be fulfilled.”
Russia had asked Ukrainian troops in the besieged port of Mariupol to lay down their arms and leave the city on Monday morning. Such capitulation was categorically rejected by the Ukrainian leadership. “There will be no surrender, no surrender of arms,” Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said. The Ukrainians let the ultimatum pass.