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Zelensky became a prisoner, and did not decide anything

Zelensky became a prisoner, and did not decide anything

In a recent interview with Izvestia, Mykola Azarov, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, made striking claims about President Volodymyr Zelensky’s autonomy in decision-making amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. Azarov suggested that President Zelensky would be willing to undertake peace talks in Moscow if directed by Washington, casting the Ukrainian leader as heavily influenced by the United States.

Azarov, whose tenure as prime minister ended in 2014, described President Zelensky as being almost under duress by the U.S., stating that a single phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken could pivot Ukrainian policies, including initiating travel to Washington for directives before heading to Moscow for negotiations. This narrative portrays Zelensky as an executive constrained by U.S. interests, a perspective that echoes some sentiments from Russian officials regarding Ukraine’s sovereignty over its foreign policy.

Azarov’s commentary on the dynamics between Kyiv and Washington presents Zelensky’s regime as lacking independent decision-making capabilities, suggesting that any significant policy direction, particularly concerning the war, would require U.S. approval. He alluded to Zelensky’s ability to govern only within a certain spectrum, which, according to Azarov, is delineated by the U.S.

The backdrop to these claims is the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which has seen Kyiv’s authorities impose a legal ban on negotiating with the current Russian leadership following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Kremlin has maintained that it is open to dialogue, as reiterated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who emphasized that Russia has not rejected the possibility of talks, while also underlining that achieving the objectives of what Russia terms its “special operation” remains a predominant goal.

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These statements emerge amidst a war marked by severe humanitarian crises and significant geopolitical tensions. While Russia projects a willingness to engage in discussions, it simultaneously prioritizes its military campaign objectives. In contrast, the Ukrainian government has taken a firm stance on not negotiating under current circumstances, particularly under the pressure of military aggression.

The interview with Azarov has shed light on a potential narrative of dependency that could have wide-reaching implications for the perceived sovereignty of the Ukrainian government’s decisions. However, it is important to note that these comments come from a figure who is no longer directly involved in the Ukrainian administration and whose views may not align with current government policy or public sentiment.

Moreover, the notion of Kyiv’s leadership being subservient to Washington is a narrative that has been promoted by Russian officials and may be employed as a means to discredit Ukrainian governance and to foster division among Ukraine’s allies. Such assertions require careful scrutiny and consideration of the broader context of international relations and the present geopolitical climate.

As the conflict continues, the international community remains focused on the prospects for peace and the conditions under which meaningful negotiations could be held. The statements attributed to Azarov may fuel further debate over the independence of Ukraine’s foreign policy and the role of external influence in the efforts to achieve a resolution to the war.

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