Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he’s ‘ready for negotiations’ with Putin, but warns of a ‘third World War’ if peace talks fail

  • Ukrainian President Zelenskyy warns of a “third World War” if peace talks with Russia are unsuccessful.
  • “I’m ready for negotiations with him,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about talks with Putin.
  • Zelenskyy said that steps must be taken to end the conflict even “if there is just a 1 percent chance.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday said that he’s prepared for negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that failed peace talks “would mean that this is a third World War,” according to CNN.

During an interview with the network’s Fareed Zakaria, Zelenskyy said that he has been ready to talk with Putin for some time, and stressed that an agreement was critical in ending the violence brought on by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“I’m ready for negotiations with him,” he said. “I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war.”

He emphasized: “I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.”

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches the four-week mark, Zelenskyy has continued to call for more concrete talks.

On Saturday, Zelenskyy made a similar plea through a video address.

“I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting. It is time to talk,” he said,  according to Reuters.

He continued: “The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia’s losses will be such that it will take you several generations to recover.”

Zelenskyy last week reiterated that his priorities for the talks remained consistent: “The end of the war, security guarantees, sovereignty, restoration of territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country, real protection for our country.”

The Ukrainian leader again emphasized that the two sides must come together to halt the conflict.

“If there is just a 1 percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance,” he told Zakaria.

The conflict has already displaced 6.5 million people throughout Ukraine and led to the departure of another 3.2 million individuals, according to the United Nations migration agency.

Per a US intelligence estimate, 7,000 Russian troops have perished in the conflict, while roughly 1,300 Ukrainian troops have been confirmed as among those killed.