Pushing Russian forces back to their pre-invasion positions would be a major temporary victory for Ukraine, but full sovereignty over Ukraine’s territory remains the ultimate goal, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with the Financial Times.
"We have fewer weapons and therefore are not able to move forward. We will suffer more losses and people are my priority," he said.
Zelensky stressed that victory must be achieved on the battlefield, but said he is open to talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He added that Western sanctions have not greatly affected Russia's position and criticized western partners for calling for a ceasefire in the conflict without defining any conditions.
"They support Ukraine, but at the same time they want to see what can be done to ease sanctions so that their business does not suffer. How can we achieve a ceasefire in the territory of Ukraine without taking into account the position of this country? This is very surprising," Zelensky said.
According to Zelensky, Ukraine's allies can do more to bring Russia to the negotiating table by supplying Ukraine with weapons and tightening economic sanctions against Moscow, including a total oil and gas embargo.
According to him, they should not just try to be mediators, but should ensure that Moscow ceases hostilities and observes any ceasefire.