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Were Ukraine a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started – Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that he’s “ready for negotiations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin but warned that if they fail “that would mean that this is a third World War.”

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war,” he told CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria.

“I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War,” he added.

“We have always insisted on negotiations. We have always offered dialogue, offered solutions for peace,” he said. “And I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. It’s time to meet. Time to talk. It is time to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine.”

Zelensky also told Zakaria on Sunday that if Ukraine “were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started.”

“I’d like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people. If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately. Because people are dying on a daily basis,” he said, while also adding that he was grateful for the aid NATO has provided since the invasion began.

Last week, Zelensky dropped his clearest hint yet that he does not expect his country to join NATO anytime soon, something that has been a Ukrainian goal.

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