Ukraine says any deal with Russia would be subject to a referendum — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Any historic agreement reached during negotiations should be approved by all Ukrainians, President Zelensky said

While hinting at progress in talks with Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that any “historic” compromise his negotiators agree on would be subject to approval by the whole country at a referendum.

“I explained to all the negotiating groups: when you talk about all these changes, and they may be historic, we will not go anywhere, we will arrive at a referendum”, Zelensky told Ukrainian Public Broadcaster in an interview.

“The people will have their say and will give their answers to this or that compromise. As for what they will be, that is a matter of our conversations between Ukraine and Russia,” added the president.

Zelensky was responding to a question about Russia’s demands for security guarantees for the two Donbas republics and for recognition of Crimea – the peninsula that voted to join Russia in 2014, which kyiv and the West continue to consider as Ukrainian territory.

Earlier in the day, Russia rejected Zelensky’s offer of a direct meeting with President Vladimir Putin, saying the talks had “no significant progress.”

“For us to talk about a meeting between the two presidents, you have to do your homework. Talks must take place and their results agreed,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Russia has also rejected calls for a ceasefire, saying the pauses were used by kyiv to regroup and launch attacks on its troops.

Monday was the first time Zelensky had raised the idea of ​​a referendum since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine nearly a month ago. Last December, following a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, he said he “do not rule out a referendum” of all Ukrainians regarding the disputed republics of Donbass, Crimea, “and perhaps, in general, on stopping the war” which has been raging in the east of the country since 2014.

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, after a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Russia’s eventual recognition of the two republics. Protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to regularize the status of these regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.

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