LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president says his country is prepared to declare neutrality and consider compromise on contested areas to secure peace with Russia.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's latest remarks could create momentum for talks set to resume Tuesday, but he said only a face-to-face meeting with Russia’s leader could end the war.
Zelenskyy also stressed that Ukraine’s priority is ensuring its sovereignty and preventing Russia from carving up the country.
That is something Ukraine and the West say could now be Moscow’s goal.
The Ukrainian leader has suggested as much before, but rarely so forcefully.
Russia appears to be shifting its strategy on the ground after taking significant losses and failing to capture major cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv.
“We think they’re trying to cut off the Donbas area,” a U.S. official told The New York Times. "They are putting their priorities and their efforts in the east of Ukraine, and that’s where still there remains a lot of heavy fighting.”
It's unclear whether this new strategy was planned or a pivot following resistance from Ukraine.
According to the United Nations, more than 1.8 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries and 2.5 million are displaced inside Ukraine.