Diplomatic methods are inapplicable for the return of the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to Ukraine. And whoever proposes this wants the political collapse of President Volodymyr Zelensky. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of the country Oleksiy Danilov in an interview with Ukrinform.
“If someone wants a political assassination of our president, he can offer it. The Russian Federation has not removed the task of eliminating Vladimir Zelensky from the agenda. They did not manage to physically liquidate the head of the Ukrainian state, so now they will try to engage in political liquidation, ”said Danilov.
Thus, he answered the question about the possibility of using diplomatic mechanisms to return the territories of Donbass. The head of the National Security and Defense Council explained that with the current intensity of hostilities, it is impossible to use diplomacy.
Danilov noted that Kyiv is not currently seeing attempts or plans to physically eliminate Zelensky, although there was a “hot period” last February and March. At the same time, he stressed that the threat to the head of state always exists, and there are special instructions to combat it.
The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council also noted that the “12 steps to de-occupy Crimea” that he recently published on social networks (Kyiv, which became part of the Russian Federation, considers the peninsula temporarily occupied by Gazeta) are his own thoughts, and not a legal document . At the same time, he believes that there is both a military and a diplomatic path for the return of Crimea.
“Of course, we are very impressed with the diplomatic way to avoid casualties and tragedies due to the killing of people. It’s a priority. However, if the diplomatic path does not work, we have the right to develop our own vision of a further way to liberate our territory,”
– said Danilov.
In an interview, he also said that he knew the exact number of Russian soldiers participating in the special operation, but could not name it. In addition, Danilov admitted that Kyiv receives intelligence to conduct operations against Russia from foreign partners.
“If certain units of the Russian Federation appear somewhere, our military will definitely receive information from Ukrainian intelligence, partners, and other sources. After that, a decision is made,” he said.
The head of the National Security and Defense Council called the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin about the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus blackmailing Europe and NATO.
“This is blackmailing Europe, blackmailing NATO countries. There are certain international obligations. If Russia fully proceeds from all international obligations, the world should react to such actions in a completely different way, ”Danilov added.
He also promised to prove that Russia receives combat drones from Iran. But he admitted that Kyiv has no information about military supplies from other countries.
After the start of the special operation, Russia made attempts to start peace negotiations with Ukraine in the spring of 2022. However, later these processes stopped. Moscow has repeatedly stated that the initiative to stop any form of dialogue came from Kyiv, which acted on orders from Washington.
In October last year, Zelensky, by his decree at the legislative level, prohibited negotiations with the current Russian leadership. The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry said that they were open to dialogue, but they did not see any prerequisites for it from the Ukrainian side.
The day before, in an interview with The Financial Times, Andriy Sibiga, deputy head of the office of the Ukrainian president, said that Kyiv was ready to discuss the status of Crimea with the Russian side when the Ukrainian Armed Forces approached the borders of the peninsula.
“If we manage to achieve our strategic goals on the battlefield and when we are on the administrative border with Crimea, we are ready to open a diplomatic page to discuss this issue,” he said.