Mar 27, 2022 - World

Zelensky opens the door for Ukraine neutrality in Russia peace deal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky holds a virtual address with the U.S. Congress. Photo: UKRINFORM/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine is prepared to discuss adopting a neutral stance as part of a peace deal with Russia, according to Reuters.

Be smart: Ukraine would not be able to join NATO if it adopted a neutral stance. Zelensky made the remarks during a 90-minute video call with Russian reporters, which Russian authorities had warned Russian media to refrain from participating in, per Reuters.

The Ukrainian president spoke Russian throughout the call.

Driving the news: A neutral stance would have to be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum, Zelensky said in remarks aired on Sunday.

  • "Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point," Zelensky said.
  • Zelensky said he denied other Russian demands, like the demilitarization of Ukraine.

Be smart: Ukraine had previously sought to join NATO, and approved an amendment to its constitution in 2019 that added membership in the European Union and NATO as strategic goals for the country.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly opposed Ukraine joining NATO.

Go deeper: What neutrality means for Ukraine (Al Jazeera)

Go deeper