Zelensky says only 'diplomacy' can end Ukraine war

| Updated: May 22, 2022 19:47:10

Zelensky says only 'diplomacy' can end Ukraine war

The war in Ukraine can only be resolved through diplomacy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said - despite a current deadlock in negotiations between the two sides.

Speaking on Ukrainian television to mark three years since he took office, he suggested his country could be victorious on the battlefield - but that things could only come to a conclusive halt "at the negotiating table".

The conflict "will be bloody, there will be fighting, but it will only definitively end through diplomacy", Zelensky said, reports BBC on Saturday.            

But he indicated this would not be easy as neither side wanted to give anything up.

He said his country had "broken the backbone" of one of the world's strongest armies - adding that the Russians were "not going to regain their feet in the next several years".

But he cautioned against high expectations about what Ukraine could achieve on the battlefield.

Zelensky said returning to the status quo of 23 February - before Russia invaded - would represent "victory".

This would mean an end to the war's "first stage", he said - adding the conflict could only be fully resolved through diplomacy.

Zelensky insisted his country was adequately prepared for the invasion - and suggests the Russians made underestimations. "They did not know about a number of things," he claimed.

The president was speaking in a 75-minute pre-recorded interview alongside his wife, Olena Zelenska.

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