Zelensky confesses Ukraine will have to pay for Western aid
“Sometimes we receive weapons directly, but you have to understand that everything has its price," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tersely stated that western countries are assisting Ukraine, but Kiev has yet to pay for it.
"The money allocated by Europe and other nations is spent only on humanitarian aid or weapons. Sometimes we receive weapons directly, but you have to understand that everything has its price," he claimed.
Zelensky added that "whenever the money that we get is mentioned - well, it all came at a cost, it’s not for free."
In late February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requested that his country be allowed to join the EU immediately.
Head of the Ukrainian President's Office said, on March 1, that Ukraine's application for EU membership under the accelerated procedure has been accepted, registered, and is being considered.
The heads of EU states and governments gathered in France's Versailles for an informal summit expressed their solidarity with Ukraine in a joint statement, but stopped short of granting Kiev candidate status.
Ukraine's accession to the EU could take months or even years, according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
On Friday, the EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell admitted that the West has committed a number of blunders in its relations with Russia, including promising Ukraine membership in NATO.
It is worth noting that Ukraine is no longer interested in NATO membership anymore: While one of the reasons why Moscow launched its military operation against Ukraine is because of Ukraine's constant threat of joining NATO, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will no longer be pressing for NATO membership for Ukraine.
This could come as a result of the ongoing negotiations between Kiev and Moscow, where Ukraine is demanded to compromise and succumb to Russian demands in an already-losing war.
Zelensky said that both Russia and the West should provide security guarantees to Ukraine.
In an interview with foreign media on Saturday, he added that "apart from the Russian Federation, the security guarantees should be provided by other leaders as well."
"What we need now is not words, but security guarantees <…> from countries and unions of countries that are capable of providing them," he stressed. "We don’t want to wage any more wars."
Zelensky added that Russian-Ukrainian negotiations continue.
"Groups of Ukrainian and Russian negotiators are discussing some matters," he said, adding that his country had informed other countries about the ongoing discussions.
"We have no secrets, we are absolutely frank about this agenda. We informed certain leaders about the questions that are being discussed by the Russian and the Ukrainian sides," Zelensky added.
In a video address, posted by the presidential office in its Telegram channel, the Ukrainian President said that previously agreed corridors were functional.
“We managed to evacuate 12,729 people. Humanitarian cargo for Mariupol will be delivered tomorrow."
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister for issues of reintegration on uncontrolled territories, Irina Vereshchuk, said that the possibility of opening humanitarian corridors from the Lugansk and Kiev regions, on Sunday, was being considered.
Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Saturday that Russia proposed ten humanitarian corridors from Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov, and Mariupol on March 12, while Ukraine added one more, towards Zhitomir.
On his account, Russian President Vladimir Putin has lately reiterated that Moscow has established humanitarian corridors and provided transport so that civilians are given the opportunity to leave.
Early this month, he added that Ukraine's nationalists are not allowing them to do so. Rather, they are gathering residents in apartment buildings, and placing weapons on the lower and upper floors, "only the Nazis treated civilians so inhumanly.”
"Nationalist and neo-Nazi formations, and among them there are foreign mercenaries, including from the Middle East, hide behind civilians as a human shield. I have already said that there is absolutely objective photographic data of how they place heavy military equipment in residential areas of cities," Putin concluded.