Zelenskiy says there is no ceasefire without reclaiming lands lost to Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not seen), as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 11, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

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July 22 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a ceasefire with Russia without reclaiming lost territories would only prolong the war, according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

He warned that a ceasefire allowing Russia to retain Ukrainian territories seized since the February invasion would only encourage an even wider conflict, giving Moscow an opportunity to rebuild and rearm for the next round.

Zelenskiy also spoke about the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), saying that “Western supplies of Himars, while making a material difference, are far below what Ukraine needs to reverse the trend”.

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“The freezing of the conflict with the Russian Federation means a pause that gives the Russian Federation a break to rest,” reported the Wall Street Journal, citing Zelenskiy’s comments. (https://on.wsj.com/3v9cOcQ)

He said: “The society believes that all territories must first be liberated, and then we can negotiate what to do and how we could live in the centuries to come.”

“A more pressing need is for air defense systems that could prevent Russia from raining down long-range missiles on otherwise peaceful cities hundreds of miles from the front lines,” Zelenskiy added.

Referring to the agreement signed with Russia to reopen grain exports, Zelenskiy said: “Diplomatic concessions to Moscow might stabilize markets somewhat, but would only provide a temporary respite and a boomerang in the future.” .

Russia and Ukraine on Friday signed a historic agreement to reopen Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to grain exports, raising hopes that an international food crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion can be eased. Read more

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Reporting by Rachna Dhanrajani in Bengaluru; edited by Diane Craft and Alistair Bell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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