ZURICH (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ruled out heading to Moscow for direct talks with Russian leaders on ending the war, he was quoted on Thursday as saying.
“In the name of my country, I would be ready to visit any place on this planet. But certainly not now and certainly not Moscow. That is simply out of the question,” he was quoted as telling Russian media outlet Mediazona in an interview republished by Austrian newspaper Der Standard.
“Nevertheless, under different circumstances and with different rulers in Moscow, anything would be possible,” he added.
The interview appeared as Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the biggest battle of the Ukraine war.
Zelenskiy said in the interview that Russia’s political leadership had made a “catastrophic mistake” by invading his country and had dragged the Russian people into the leaders’ responsibility.
“From now on, many countries will no longer be concerned with the question of whether someone is a good or a bad Russian. All Russians will be treated badly. Russia has achieved that. In the end, it’s none of my business, but that should scare the Russian people,” he said.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Nick Macfie)