The President Zelensky admitted that he’s “cooled down” over Ukraine’s attempt to join NATO. Zelensky said, “The alliance is afraid to confront Russia… We don’t wish to beg on the knees.”

Volodymyr Volodymyr Zelesky claims he has “cooled” on Ukrainian demands for NATO membership and is open to negotiations on Russian-occupied territories. It opens the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Vladimir Putin’s invasion. 

Zelensky has been a symbol of resistance to Russian aggression ever since the conflict began nearly two weeks ago. On Monday, he stated that NATO does not want to recognize Ukraine and is unwilling to ‘beg on his knees’.

Additionally, he stated that he is open to dialogue on future issues of Crimea (Luhansk) and Donbass. These are three areas occupied prior to the Russian invasion. Putin is keen to seize control of these regions from Ukraine but isn’t willing to compromise his ‘ultimatums.

While this rhetoric is not in line with Russian demands it does open the door to a possible deal to stop fighting before high-level negotiations between Turkey’s two sides tomorrow.

President Volodymyr Zelensky told ABC News on Monday night that he has 'cooled' on Ukrainian demands to join NATO

ABC News’ Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday that he had ‘cooled down’ in his response to the Ukrainian demand for NATO membership 

Putin demanded that Ukraine be banned from joining NATO before the invasion. This was one of several security guarantees Moscow sought.

In line with Moscow’s moves, he has now stated that Ukraine should accept Donetsk or Luhansk as independent republics. These are two regions in the east which lie on Russian borders and have been held by pro-Russian rebels from 2014.

Putin claims that Crimea must be considered part of Russia. Russian troops have been invading the peninsula since 2014. 

An Ukrainian tank rolls along a main road on March 8. President Zelensky said that he is 'open to dialogue' on the future of Crimea, Luhansk and Donbass

On March 8, a Ukrainian tank marched along the main road. On March 8, a Ukrainian tank rolled along a main road. President Zelensky indicated that he’s open to discussion about the futures of Crimea, Luhansk, and Donbass.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands next to the vertical tail fin of a Russian Su-34 bomber lying in a damaged building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday, March 8

A Ukrainian serviceman stands next to the vertical tail fin of a Russian Su-34 bomber lying in a damaged building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday, March 8

Zelensky, who spoke Monday night in Kyiv from his presidential office, said he’s’ready to have a dialog’ with Putin about the issues but that he’s ‘not ready for capitulation’.

“Regarding NATO,” he stated. 

“The alliance is scared of Russia and controversial matters. I do not want to beg on my knees.

“Regarding the temporary occupied territories or unrecognised republics…we can discuss and come to a consensus about how these territories should live. 

“What matters to me most is how people living in these territories, who want to remain part of Ukraine, will be able to live.”

Zelensky’s remarks about NATO membership are a marked improvement on the pre-invasion rhetoric that said banning Ukraine was not a good idea.

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