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Reznikov: "Freezing the conflict is an unrealistic scenario"

The minister says that the world understands the current situation.

Reznikov: "Freezing the conflict is an unrealistic scenario"
Photo: EPA/UPG

The freezing of the war with Russia is not a realistic scenario now, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.

"In 2015, there was virtually no modern Ukrainian army. On the other hand, in Europe, we had a strong position of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. They – and the rest of Europe – lived in the paradigm of 'not provoking Russia'. This paradigm was especially evident during the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008. At that time, we and Georgia had a real chance to join NATO, and the United States supported this, but Chancellor Merkel was categorically against it, as she believed that they should not provoke the Kremlin. They left us an 'open door'. As President Zelenskyy says: 'The door is open, but where to find it?' The consequence of this hesitation was the Russian war against Georgia, and in 2014, the seizure of Crimea, without the world's reaction. The Americans did not want to intervene then. The Normandy format appeared, which gave rise to the Minsk agreements. Ukrainians were also not ready for war, and it seemed better to negotiate peace, especially since there were serious guarantors," the minister said.

According to Reznikov, today we can say that the world understands the situation.

"We have a new German chancellor and a new French president. The Baltic states and Poland are well aware of the threat. If Ukraine falls, Russian tanks will sooner or later move on Warsaw, Vilnius, Tallinn, Riga. And I think that the Kremlin has even more far-reaching plans in their minds. But Ukrainians will not agree to this, we will fight. Look at the latest opinion polls. First, we have the highest support in history for NATO membership, the highest level of support for the liberation of all our territories. I talk to ministers of other countries and they also want us to win. And if we were to sit down at the negotiating table with the enemy now, they would also consider it a betrayal. Negotiations are possible provided that all Russian troops are withdrawn from Ukraine, and then negotiations are possible on what guarantees will be provided, what reparations will be paid and when our children who were taken to Russia will be returned," he added.

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