Berlin, May 14 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Sunday said his country was “almost ready” for victory as Kyiv prepared a counterattack to drive Russian forces out of the occupied territories.
“We are motivated, and I think we are almost ready for victory,” Zelenskyy said in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
He said the highly-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive was not to attack Russian territory but to liberate the occupied Ukrainian regions.
“We are preparing a counterattack for the illegally occupied areas based on our constitutionally defined and internationally recognized legitimate borders.”
Asked if he ran the risk of countries withdrawing their support to Ukraine, the president said he assumes the nation may consider the possibility if the counterattack “is not successful enough.”
Zelenskyy said Ukraine focused on winning and not on other considerations.
Asked if Germany’s $3-billion aid package was enough to begin the counterattack, the Ukrainian leader said a couple more visits to Europe and “then it will be enough.”
Scholz replied: “Best of luck.”
Zelenskyy said Ukraine was open to peace initiatives based on Ukraine’s 10-point plan, which involves restoring security and territorial integrity, guaranteeing food security, and does not include neutrality.
“We have an ongoing conflict on our territory, and we are open to hearing proposals from any country,” President Zelenskyy said.
However, he emphasized that any initiatives must align with Ukraine’s platform and priorities, underscoring Kyiv’s position that it is willing to engage in dialogue with other nations toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Scholz affirmed that his country fully backed Ukraine, which said was “ready for peace.”
However, he also noted that Ukraine had made it clear that any peace agreement must not simply involve freezing the conflict and accepting a peace dictated by Russia.
Scholz said the war in Ukraine represented an imperialist attack on its territory, which posed a serious threat to peace and security in Europe.
For there to be a meaningful discussion about achieving peace in Ukraine, it is essential that Russia withdraws its troops from the region, he said.
“Without this crucial step, any dialogue or negotiations towards a peaceful resolution would be difficult to achieve.”
Earlier, Zelenskyy arrived to a warm welcome in Germany from Rome shortly after midnight on his first known trip to the country since the Russian invasion in February last year.
In Rome, he met Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Saturday.
In Berlin, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warmly received Ukrainian Zelenskyy at his official residence.
In preparation for the Ukrainian president’s visit, the police increased security measures in certain parts of the city center, particularly around the government quarter. Helicopters flew over the area.
Residents living near the foreign ministry and the president’s office needed to carry an identity document. Driving along the River Spree was barred. EFE