Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to a report that Western officials were pushing him to hold peace negotiations with Russia by stating that he does not want to have any "dialogue with terrorists."
NBC News reported Friday that U.S. and European officials were quietly discussing the possibility of potential peace negotiations with Russia to end the war more than a year and a half after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine, but in an interview that aired Sunday with NBC's "Meet the Press," Zelensky said he was against any such discussions.
"I heard a lot of different voices and emotions and without any contradictions and propositions, a lot of different things," he said in English.
"I don't have any relations with Russians. And they know my position. That is the position of my country. That is the position of our people. We don't want to make any dialogue with terrorists," he also said, referring to Russia as "terrorists."
Zelensky also said that President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress "know that I am not ready to speak with the terrorists because their word is nothing. Nothing. We can't trust terrorists because terrorists always come back."
Russia controls about 11% of Ukraine's territory it seized since invading the country in February 2022, the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs stated last week.
Meanwhile, 60% of Ukrainians say that the country should continue fighting until it wins, while 31% say that Ukraine should look to negotiate to end the war as quickly as possible, according to a Gallup poll released last month. However, a majority of Russian civilians, 56%, support starting peace talks, according to a poll from the Moscow-based Levada Center, Euronews reported last week.