GB News: President Zelensky warned against referendum – ‘Cannot trust Russia’

Ukraine: Putin agrees to meet President Zelensky for talks

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Former advisor to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Cormac Smith featured on GB News and he urged President Zelensky to avoid a referendum on compromises with Russia. He stated: “You cannot trust Russia. There is no diplomatic solution with Russia.”

President Zelensky announced on Monday that any deal offered in peace negotiations with Russia will be put to a referendum in Ukraine for Ukrainians to have their say. 

Mr Zelensky spoke to Suspilne and said: “I explained it to all the negotiating groups; when you speak about all these [proposed] changes, and they can be historic, we will not go anywhere. We will have a referendum.

“The people will have to say and respond to certain formats of compromise and what they will be. 

“And what they will be, is a matter of our conversation and understanding between Ukraine and Russia.”

Mr Smith warned that peace deals would not be airtight against future attacks from Russia as compromise in the eyes of Russia is equivalent to weakness and “Russia understands only power and strength”.

Speaking to host Dan Wootton, Mr Smith praised the Ukrainian President saying: “The one thing I know is Zelensky is keeping the moral high ground. He is making every effort to engage with Putin.”

In his interview, President Zelensky vowed he would do “anything” in agreement with the wishes of the Ukrainian people. 

Peace talks are said to involve Ukraine compromising territory to Russia and President Zelensky added that in lieu of NATO membership, Ukraine needs “other security guarantees”.

The Ukrainian President was adamant that “Ukraine cannot fulfil Russian ultimatums” and said his nation would sooner be destroyed than submit to Russia. 

He continued: “We should be destroyed first, then their ultimatum would be fulfilled.”

Mariana Bezuhla, Deputy head of the National Security, Defence and Intelligence Committee in Ukraine, also featured in the discussion on GB News and argued against any compromise of territory.

She said: “There is no way to compromise Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial aspects, we cannot be in compromise with it.

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“Of course, the end of war is about compromise, but everything which will be or can be compromised additionally and which is very questionable for our nation, of course it’s a part of discussion in our referendum and the President said it.

“But maybe it’s obvious but I need to emphasise where I am sitting, I am sitting in the capital and the light is dark because I cannot switch it on because we have shelling.”

She concluded: “With all the death and damage, the Ukrainian nation is not about to compromise about principled things.”

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden is due to embark on a trip to Europe to engage in a NATO summit to discuss the conflict in Ukraine with leaders such as Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron.

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