Ukraine president says any compromise with Russia will require referendum

Zelensky says that Kyiv requires “other security guarantees” in lieu of NATO membership.

By World Israel News Staff

President Volodymyr Zelenskyv on Monday said that any comprise reached in peace negotiations with Russia would need to be voted on by Ukrainians in a referendum, AFP reported Tuesday.

“I explained it to all the negotiating groups: when you speak of all these changes [in a future accord] and they can be historic… we will come back to a referendum,” Zelensky told Suspilne, an internet news site.

Issues that could be raised in the referendum could concern Russian-occupied territories, including Crimea, Zelensky said, AFP reported.

“The people will have to weigh in on certain kinds of compromise,” he said, adding that the compromises are the subject of the talks between Ukraine and Russia. 

Zelensky spoke about Ukraine’s concession to not join NATO, an organization created in 1949 to provide protection to Europe against the Soviet Union at the start of the Cold War.

He said that Ukraine will not be admitted to the organization because NATO is “afraid” of Russia.

“That’s all. And we have to calm down and say: ‘Okay, [we need] other security guarantees,’” he said. “There are NATO countries that want to provide security guarantees… who are ready to do what the alliance would do if we were members,” Zelensky said. “And I think this is a normal compromise.” he said, as quoted by AFP.

Moscow demands a guarantee that Ukraine will never become a NATO member, an issue that was insisted on before Russia launched its invasion last month. 

Read  Biden’s 'ironclad' commitments to Israel and the world

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO has expanded to include eastern European countries on Russia’s borders.